Cow Burps and Farts Cause 28% of Methane Release “Due to Human Activity”

(p. 6A) LOS ANGELES — Scientists have isolated a bacterium from the gut of Australian Tam­mar wallabies that allows the animals to consume and digest grasses, leaves and other plant material without producing co­pious amounts of methane, as cattle do.
The microbe was discovered through a process described in a report published online recently by the journal Science.
Ultimately, the microbe might be put to use to reduce the car­bon footprint of cows and other ruminants, said report co-author Mark Morrison, a microbial bi­ologist in St. Lucia, Queensland.
. . .
The methane-rich burps and flatulence of cattle have been blamed for 28 percent of that greenhouse gas’s global emis­sions due to human activity. Like other cud-chewing mammals, they produce methane as their systems work to break down and ferment the plant matter they eat.

For the full story, see:
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. “Wallaby microbe may one day help cut cows’ methane footprint.” Omaha World-Herald (Monday, July 4, 2011): 6A.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

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