We’re back after an August holiday! On to the latest news…
As you can see from the assortment of links below, much of the August methane news focused on methane emissions from livestock digestion, also known as enteric fermentation. Although enteric fermentation is the world’s largest source of methane emissions, we here at GMI do not cover it due to the difficulties in measuring and recovering it, but we certainly take a keen interest in mitigation developments. Significantly reducing meat consumption (particularly red meat) and demand is the ultimate mitigation solution, but such incentives and policies are not even under consideration at this time (although California has recently proposed regulation). As scientists study the issue in cows, pigs, and even buffalo, stopgap solutions have emerged such as improvements in feed efficiency and high tech backpacks that capture passed cow gas. The backpacks catch and contain almost 300 liters of methane per cow per day – or enough to power a refrigerator for a day.
In related news, last year Italian dairy farmers opened The Shit Museum, featuring home goods that are made out of a compound of baked manure and clay that they call merdacotta — “baked excrement.” The group of farmers recently won the top prize for their exhibition of merdacotta goods design at this year’s prestigious Milan Design Week. Check out The New York Times’s fascinating profile on merdacotta goods and the farmers’ commitment to zero waste.
NASA has methane on its radar – the prestigious U.S. space organization is studying the “hot spot” of methane emissions in the Four Corners region of the United States leaking from more than 250 oil and gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines, coal mines and other fossil fuel facilities as well as methane released from thawing Arctic permafrost.
Finally, we also recommend this interesting read on why utilities have little incentive to plug methane leaks.
See you next month!
August Methane News Round-Up
- California Moves to Add Methane Limits to Climate Agenda (Associated Press)
- Cattle Farmers Are Fighting Climate Change With Fart-Collecting Backpacks for Cows (VICE)
- CBM and CMM in China (World Coal)
- Could Less Gassy Livestock Be a Cash Cow? (Bloomberg)
- Cow Dung Goes High Design (New York Times)
- Defrosting Arctic releasing powerful greenhouse gas (Radio Canada International)
- Fart-Collecting Backpacks For Cows Look Silly, But They May Have A Serious Impact (Good)
- How Can California Cut Methane Emissions if Cows Keep Cutting the Cheese? (Wired)
- In U.S. Methane Hot Spot, Researchers Pinpoint Sources of 250 Leaks (Inside Climate News)
- Methane-free dairy cow is key to reducing emissions says researcher (Australian Broadcasting Company)
- NASA Is Studying Alaska’s Creepy Bubbling Lakes from Space (Motherboard)
- NASA Study Analyzes Four Corners Methane Sources (NASA)
- Natural Gas Emissions to Surpass Those of Coal in 2016 (Climate Central)
- New method to quantify pig methane emissions (All About Feed)
- Research into cow burps could cut methane emissions, and budgets (CBC News)
- Scientists calculate methane loads bubbling up from Arctic lakebeds (Alaska Dispatch News)
- Thawing Arctic Permafrost Could Release Billion Tons of Carbon in the Atmosphere (Nature World News)
- What Happens to Methane That Leaks from Abandoned Wells? (Earth & Space Science News)
- Why Hong Kong buffalo burps may help unlock global methane mystery (Post Magazine)
- Why utilities have little incentive to plug leaking natural gas (The Conversation)