United Nations data update finds methane emissions from cattle are 11% higher than previously estimated

Bigger livestock in larger numbers in more regions has led to methane in the air climbing faster than predicted due to ‘out-of-date data’

By Agence France-Presse, via The Guardian.

Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from livestock are larger than previously thought, posing an additional challenge in the fight to curb global warming, scientists have said. 

Revised calculations of methane produced per head of cattle show that global livestock emissions in 2011 were 11% higher than estimates based on data from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). 

Periodic reports by the IPCC, drawing from thousands of scientists, help leaders take action on climate change, which has begun to wreak havoc on weather around the world.

“In many regions, livestock numbers are changing, and breeding has resulted in larger animals with higher intakes of food,” said Julie Wolf, a researcher in the US Department of Agriculture and the lead author of a study in the journal Carbon Balance and Management.

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