As we all know cows are quite the producers of methane, a flammable gas that can have explosive effects if contained and ignited, and that’s exactly what happened at a farm in Germany.
The barn houses 90 head of cattle and is located in the Central German town of Hesse. Police are saying that the gas built up from their flatulence and belching and a static charge ignited the gas, nearly taking the roof off of the building. Nobody was injured and the roof suffered some slight damage, one cow also had minor burns. So far nobody has been able to determine why the methane built up in the shed since there was adequate ventilation.
You’ll be amazed at how much methane cows actually produce, Dr. Andy Thorpe from the University of Portsmouth explained that a herd of cows is capable of producing the same amount of methane in a year as a car driving 3,000 miles, and explained that 200 cows can also produce methane in the equivalent amount of CO2 that car car burning 5650 gallons of gas does. He further explained that over the last 250 years CO2 levels in the atmosphere have increased by 31% while methane levels have increased 149%, and blames farming for it.
That’s a lot of methane, but he starts reaching when he tries to link cows to climate change.
According to scientists, methane has a greater warming effect in the atmosphere and takes longer to diminish than carbon dioxide does, and Thorpe explained that methane has been responsible for 1/5 of the warming the earth has had since 1750.
It’s estimated by scientists that 55-70% of the methane in the atmosphere comes from man made sources such as the burning of fossil fuels and mostly from farm animals that are raised as our sources of food. Their additional stomach apparently causes them to produce large amounts of the gas, according to Thorpe.
He argued the rise in methane from farming is exponential as incomes continue to rise and demand for meats increases in the developing world, and that there’s large profits in farming and developing countries selling meats to other developing countries. He claims that up to 75% of the methane from farm animals comes from developing nations such as Brazil and India since their populations are exploding and their economies are on the rise.
(Read More: UN Attempts To Blame Free Trade For Climate Change)