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Quick Research: Today's Cattle Population Causing Global Warming and Historic Bison Population
Wikipedea, Cattle Network and UK sources | 7.31.07 | rface

Posted on 07/31/2007 9:14:29 AM PDT by rface

We keep hearing about how our Meat-eating diet increases the greenhouse gasses that cause Global warming.

The mantra is: Today's cattle population is too great - the methane that is produced by these cud-chewing herds traps the sun's heat and causes the Earth to get too hot.

I wonder.....What is the US Cattle population and I find that it is about 105 million head , as of July 2007.

Next I wonder..... what was the historic American Bison population - before the Global Warming scare - and before the current boom of our cattle population. The answer is not an exact number, and I am sure that these numbers fluctuated, but it is estimated that the Bison population in the middle of the 19th century (1850s or thereabouts)is estimated to be between 60 to 100 million head..

from: Belching cows linked to global warming
Tuesday, 10 Jul 2007 10:36
InTheNews - UK

It is estimated that cows can produce between 100 and 200 litres of methane a day ..... "It is quite a lot and methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas and although in absolute terms there is much less methane going up into the atmosphere than CO2 it does have a much more powerful effect."

According to Dr Abberton, methane contributes to around about 20 per cent of the greenhouse effect.

.

How come the Bison herds of yesterday had no effect on the Global Climate ?

Maybe Bison don't Fart or Belch methane like cows do - but I suspect that they fart and belch methane even more than cows do.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: climatechange; environment
I suspect that somebody had already asked this question about Bison v. Cattle as a source of Greenhouse gasses - but this is my quick and dirty research project.

Maybe I can get a Nobel Prize

1 posted on 07/31/2007 9:14:34 AM PDT by rface
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To: rface

I predict fart bags on cows.


2 posted on 07/31/2007 9:15:41 AM PDT by golfisnr1 (Democrats are like roaches - hard to get rid of.)
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To: rface

We should harness this source of energy. We already use the material waste in fertilizer. Maybe we should find a way to trap and use cow farts to produce electricity. This should help the environment, right?


3 posted on 07/31/2007 9:21:33 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (No to nitwit jesters with a predisposition of self importance and unqualified political opinions!)
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To: rface

That is a strangely worded headline.


4 posted on 07/31/2007 9:23:31 AM PDT by RightWhale (It's Brecht's donkey, not mine)
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To: rface
Gathering Buffalo Chips....entertainment for the whole family.


5 posted on 07/31/2007 9:23:49 AM PDT by Vaquero
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To: rface

I’m eating those darn cows as fast as I can!


6 posted on 07/31/2007 9:30:37 AM PDT by jjones9853
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To: rface

I wonder how much methane is produced by wetlands? (swamp gas) I’ll bet it’s a bunch more than produced by livestock.


7 posted on 07/31/2007 9:36:28 AM PDT by cannonball
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To: rface
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
8 posted on 07/31/2007 9:40:58 AM PDT by rfp1234 (Nothing is better than eternal happiness. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore...)
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To: rface

Around the time the bison were being killed off the Northeast was beingdeforested and the cleared land used for sheep farming; rivers were dammed for water power for textile mills. Lots of stone walls in New England, out in the woods now but they were once open fields full of methane producing sheep.

Youre right, there should have been a massive ecological effect from the bison, and later, the sheep and deforestation.


9 posted on 07/31/2007 9:48:33 AM PDT by Ender Wiggin
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To: face
How come the Bison herds of yesterday had no effect on the Global Climate?

What makes you think they had no effect?

This issue at any given time is the total concentration of GHGs from all sources, the output from (for example) such animals is being being added to that from all other sources.

10 posted on 07/31/2007 9:50:20 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas (Opinion based on research by an eyewear firm, which surveyed 100 members of a speed dating club.)
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To: rface

its all hot air

the first explorers in America reported seeing OCEANS of buffalo

I dont recall them reporting methane fogs

anyways,its just more hot air conversation


11 posted on 07/31/2007 9:59:02 AM PDT by himno hero
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To: M. Dodge Thomas
...the output from (for example) such animals is being being added to that from all other sources...

but the Bison population went from ~100 mill to almost zero.

My point is that while the source of methane might have changed from Bison toward domestic cattle - the raw numbers of animals that produced the methane hasn't changed .... so where's the beef?

Bison population falls from 100 mil to almost zero, while domestic cattle herd goes to 100 mill.

Eastern US forested area is greatly lessened durring the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries --- but now, the area of forest land in the eastern US is greater than it was in 1776.

12 posted on 07/31/2007 10:04:01 AM PDT by rface (I love GW Bush .... but I don't always agree with him)
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To: rface

95% of green house gases are water vapor. This is not surprising since the oceans cover 60% of the Earth’s surface. Any change in the other gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, would be merely window dressing.


13 posted on 07/31/2007 10:18:52 AM PDT by mission9 (Be a citizen worth living for, in a Nation worth dying for...)
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To: mission9
To reinforce (but slightly correct) your point, the oceans covers over 70% of the Earth.
14 posted on 07/31/2007 10:25:11 AM PDT by mattdono (150 Million bloodthirsty Arabs vs. 4.8 Million Jewish Israelis. That's not fair. [Off Sarcasm])
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To: face
What's your point?

Probably, the methane production varied from some sort of "free range bison period baseline" as roaming bison were replaced with domesticated cattle.

Probably, this was not a one-to-one substitution at any particular point in time.

Probably, this had some (very small) effect on terrestrial temperature.

But what has this got to do with current conditions?

If AGW is happening, it's happening because we now have a substantial human contribution to the total concentrations of GHGs, which includes animal methane production was well as all other sources - we now have the "bison/cattle" contribution (and many other "natural" inputs) plus the release from human burning of fossil fuels.

15 posted on 07/31/2007 10:29:05 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas (Opinion based on research by an eyewear firm, which surveyed 100 members of a speed dating club.)
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To: rface

I thought the cow farting was from feeding them stuff they’re not really built to eat — corn, newspaper, stuff like that. Do buffalo (or cows, FTM) fart or burp when they eat all grass?


16 posted on 07/31/2007 10:29:56 AM PDT by ObadiahLynch
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To: ObadiahLynch

I don’t know.


17 posted on 07/31/2007 10:34:42 AM PDT by rface (I love GW Bush .... but I don't always agree with him)
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To: rfp1234

Funny pic. Those guys are brave to be trying
to heard those bison, one of those bad boys can
jump a 6` fence and are faster than you would believe.
Not to mention a generally bad disposition

Gotta go feed the cattle now, **** this drought.


18 posted on 07/31/2007 11:25:31 AM PDT by 31M20RedDevil (Fred Thompson for President)
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To: ObadiahLynch; rface
The amount of methane a cow will burp up is affected by the animal's diet. Although the effect is probably diametrically opposed to that wished by ant-agriculture tree huggers.

A ruminant fed a high quality, easily digested diet burps less than the same animal fed a rougher, less digestible diet. (although overfeeding an animal at any stage of its life also causing excessive gas). A cow, or buffalo, out on the range eats a lot less digestible food than one more intensely managed. Yuppie tree huggers acts as if this were rocket science; it's not.

19 posted on 07/31/2007 11:53:20 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mr. Lucky

Okay I went googling. Never really thought about it before — I’d heard vaguely that cows were supposed to eat grass not corn. While that’s true, it’s not because of methane but for other reasons (cow health, antibiotic use, fat, etc). I guess they say the best thing for cows to eat to reduce.. emissions.. is alfalfa. Funny — that’s a legume — I would have expected beans to make cows fart more. Oh sweet mystery of life.


20 posted on 07/31/2007 12:28:33 PM PDT by ObadiahLynch
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To: golfisnr1

Starnage as it sounds, the methane is almost all belched up from all the processing of their multiple stomachs. Not out the back end.


21 posted on 07/31/2007 1:32:02 PM PDT by vpintheak (Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Prov. 25:26)
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To: golfisnr1

“I predict fart bags on cows.”

I wonder how many cow farts one must collect so to power a a small car 100 miles? Guess the new fuel efficiency calculation would be “farts per mile” heh, heh...


22 posted on 08/17/2007 8:58:05 AM PDT by snoringbear (')
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