liveforphysics wrote:julesa wrote:Besides, Like I said recently in another GW thread... all the carbon emitted by a cow was recently removed from the atmosphere by whatever plants the cow was eating. Net bovine atmospheric carbon impact = zero.
Perhaps a whisker of education and/or thought before speaking on a topic?
Methane = CH4
Carbon Dioxide = CO2
1 CH4 = 25 CO2
The plants draw CO2 and bio-sink that carbon. The cows consume the bio-sinked carbon, and if the cows only created CO2, then it wouldn't be an issue at all. However, they create CO2 (not a problem), and a much lighter than air gas (Methane), and each molicule released is 25 times as potent of a greenhouse gas as the CO2 that was taken up.
With respect to CO2, rain forests are fairly neutral as well. With respect to Methane, they are a massive impact.
CO2 is heavier than air, and it can move in bio-cycles. Methane is very much lighter than air, and once it's created, it's forever.
If one is only going to swallow the propaganda pills issued out nightly by the media, then things appear however they make the pill.
All good points. But, to highlight your claim,
Methane is very much lighter than air, and once it's created, it's forever.
which would be the crux of the issue (as it would accumulate, but IF it does dissipate and the cow population is kept constant, then the atmospheric methane levels should remain relatively constant), the EPA at http://www.epa.gov/methane/ counters:
The site above wrote:Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas that remains in the atmosphere for approximately 9-15 years.