India Is Fighting Climate Change by Stifling Cow Farts


Scientists in India are fighting the good fight when it comes to global warming. Across the country, researchers are innovating to reduce the amount of gas India's more than 280 million cows emit into the atmosphere. 

According to the New York Times, scientists at the Cow Research Institute have been experimenting with different types of food for the cattle to curb gassiness, and a breeding expert in South India has been working to genetically engineer cows that produce significantly less manure and methane.

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Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

This has been an ongoing problem for India: In 2009, Time reported that, altogether, India's cattle did more damage to the environment than fossil fuel-burning vehicles. Indeed, cow's methane-producing burps and farts trap 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

Though wealthier countries have developed antibiotics and dietary supplements to address the problem, farmers in India often can't afford the pricey supplies for their cattle.

"While livestock plays a crucial role in the economy, global warming is becoming a huge worry," K.K. Singhal, the head of dairy cattle nutrition at the National Dairy Research Institute, told Time. "We're trying to find indigenous solutions, because our realities are very different from the West."