Rethinking Methane: Animal Agriculture’s Path to Net Zero Warming
Dr. Frank Mitloehner
Professor and Air Quality Extension Specialist
Wednesday, Aug. 4th at 3 p.m. CDT
646-828-7666; ID: 161 4139 6271
Animal agriculture is often shouldered with a large part of the blame when it comes to climate change, and that’s in part to the fact that we haven’t been looking at how different greenhouse gases warm our climate. While methane – the main greenhouse gas associated with animal agriculture – is a potent climate pollutant that we can and need to reduce, it warms our atmosphere differently than other gases because of its short lifespan. Methane persists in our atmosphere for about a dozen years before it’s broken down via oxidation, and it’s that atmospheric removal that is often neglected when trying to characterize methane’s warming impact. Furthermore, if we can reduce methane emissions to the point where more is being broken down in the atmosphere than is being emitted, we’ll see animal agriculture go from being blamed for climate change to being recognized as a major climate solution. By rethinking methane, we can see that animal agriculture’s path to net zero warming is within reach as scalable solutions offer the global community tools to fight global climate change.