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Estimates of animal methane emissions

Abstract

The enteric methane emissions into the atmospheric annually from domestic animals total about 77 Tg. Another 10 to 14 Tg are likely released from animal manure disposal systems. About 95% of global animal enteric methane is from ruminants, a consequence of their large populations, body size and appetites combined with the extensive degree of anaerobic microbial fermentation occurring in their gut. Accurate methane estimates are particularly sensitive to cattle and buffalo census numbers and estimated diet consumption. Since consumption is largely unknown and must be predicted, accuracy is limited often by the information required, i.e., distribution of animals by class, weight and productivity. Fraction of the diet lost as enteric methane mostly falls into the range of 5.5–6.5% of gross energy intake for the world's cattle, sheep and goats. Manure methane emissions are heavily influenced by fraction of disposal by anaerobic lagoon. Non-ruminants, i.e., swine, become major contributors to these emissions.

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Johnson, D.E., Ward, G.M. Estimates of animal methane emissions. Environ Monit Assess 42, 133–141 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394046

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00394046

Keywords

  • Methane
  • Fermentation
  • Body Size
  • Manure
  • Energy Intake