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A cow eating hay.

This Brahman doesn’t burp as much as we thought.
Image: CSIRO Livestock Industries

In a recent blog post we reported on farts, a type of methane emission. When talking about these emissions, we made an omission. That is, we should have mentioned burps as well as farts.

In cows, burps can account for 95 per cent of methane emissions. As methane is a greenhouse gas, these emissions can contribute to climate change.

In December last year, scientists and officials reported that Australian cows burp less than we first thought. Scientists took careful measurements of beef and dairy cattle from several areas around Australia, and found up to 24 per cent less methane than expected.

“The more we find out about livestock, the more we know about their methane production, and the good news is that in Australia their contributions to greenhouse gas emissions are not as high as we thought,” says CSIRO’s Dr Ed Charmley.

Thanks to these research findings, maybe it’s time to cut cows some slack.

More information

Cows off the hook

Wallabies could hold key to reducing livestock methane


Thanks to the Science by Email readers who first alerted us to this omission. Thanks also to the CSIRO scientists and staff who followed up and have helped us clarify this story.

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