.idds to warming
i bf atmosphere.,
S -lPhipp J H t
; ingtP :oPn Post -*' .' ,
': 'Among the burdens Earth's at-
", rq)osphere must endure is gas emit-
S.ed by.animals. Flatulence is more
-'ib than malodorous; It contributes in a'
'firge way to the potentially cata-'
:*. rophic warming of the globe, the
'. greenhouse effect" -v.. '
*-,-, A Colorado State Upiversity
r.fessor who has spent:'20 years
: studying cow fatulence.- among
4iher topics has fuund that as
'"? ".Viuch as one-quarter of the meth-
.' ane gas cows produce might be cut
'" 'ly additives to the cows' feed.
-* Each cow emits 200 to 400
i' quarts of methane per day. The
world's cows alone contribute
S about 50 million metric tons of
methane a year. Other major meth-
ane producers Include sheep, water
buffalo, goats, camels, llamas, deer,
elk and caribou. The average per-
s;..i.n gives off about a liter a day.
n ,The methane rises in the atmo-
sphere and is converted to carbon
dioxide, which acts like glass in a
: greenhouse, allowing the sun's ra-.
.djation through, but preventing the
'A IFEarth's heat front' escaping. ;'
.-: Ruminant animals put off large:
amounts of methane because mi-
: crobes In their stomachs digest
Their food. While most of the diges-
StiUpn results in usable nutrients, the
bacteria convert about 6 percent or
7- percent of the food to methane
.; Donald Johnson, a specialist in
animal nutrition, has for years used .
Scored experimental chambers toq
Measure all the heat and gases put
S'off by cows and sheep. If antlbioto'
1 s'are mixed with feed,'some of
the'bacteria that produce the
r' methanee are killed and the animals
I can use their feed more efficiently.
': Their methane output is cut by up
tt 30 percent.
: ', 1 Johnson said that diet modifica-
,:; tons, using some commercially
: available feed that contains antibi-l
Sotics'- or by some other method
-. 14 ;could be used to reduce signifi-
S cantly the amount of methane put
into the atmosphere.
"' ^ "9 O2