Climate Change Impact on Livestock: Adaptation and Mitigation

pp 141-169

Global Warming: Role of Livestock

  • Veerasamy SejianAffiliated withAnimal Physiology Division, ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology Email author 
  • , Iqbal HyderAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary Physiology, NTR College of Veterinary Science
  • , T. EzejiAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University
  • , J. LakritzAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Ohio State University
  • , Raghavendra BhattaAffiliated withICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology
  • , J. P. RavindraAffiliated withAnimal Physiology Division, ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology
  • , Cadaba S. PrasadAffiliated withICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology
  • , Rattan LalAffiliated withCarbon Management and Sequestration Center, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

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This chapter provides an overview of the current state of knowledge concerning global warming with special reference to contribution from livestock resources. Global warming pertains to the effect of natural greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and halogenated compounds on the environment. These GHGs are generated by humans and human-related activities. Carbon dioxide, CH4, and N2O are the principal sources of radiative forcing (Fifth IPCC Report of 2013). Interestingly, livestock contributes to climate change through emissions of CO2, CH4, and N2O into the atmosphere. Globally, the livestock sector directly and indirectly contributes 18 % (7.1 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent) of GHG emissions. While direct GHG emissions from livestock refer to emissions from enteric fermentations in livestock, urine excretion, and microbial activities in manures, indirect GHG emissions are those not directly derived from livestock activities but from manure applications on farm crops, production of fertilizer for growing crops used for animal feed production, and processing and transportation of refrigerated livestock products. Other indirect emissions include deforestation, desertification, and release of carbons from cultivated soils due to expansion of livestock husbandry. According to FAO’s Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM), the GHG emission from livestock-related activities was estimated to be around 7.1 gigatonnes CO2-eq. per annum, representing 14.5 % of human-induced emissions. This clearly indicates the significant role for livestock contributions to climate change.


Enteric fermentation GLEAM Global warming Livestock Manure management Methane and nitrous oxide