The farming of livestock to feed the global appetite for animal products greatly contributes to global warming.
The farming of livestock to feed the global appetite for animal products greatly contributes to global warming. A new study however shows that emission intensity per unit of animal protein produced from the sector has decreased globally over the past two decades due to greater production efficiency, raising questions around the extent to which methane emissions will change in the future and how we can better manage their negative impacts.
Despite what we know about the environmental cost of livestock production, the global appetite for animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy continues to grow. The livestock sector is in fact the largest source of manmade methane emissions globally, and these emissions are projected to keep increasing along with the growing demand for livestock products. This is bad news for the planet as methane - the second most abundant manmade greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2) - has a warming effect 28 times greater per kilogram than that of CO2 over a 100-year period.
Following the recent revision of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s emission factors and methodology for livestock methane emissions, an international team of researchers led by IIASA guest researcher Jinfeng Chang, set out to re-assess global livestock methane emissions over the past two decades and project emissions till 2050. Their study just published in AGU Advances, is the first to apply the revised IPCC guidelines globally and assess the resulting differences in future projections of methane emissions.
Read more at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
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