Scientists measure cow burps from space

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Scientists have completed an experiment where they were able to measure cow burps from space using satellites.

That’s right, researchers at GHG Sat – an environmental research company – have used satellites to capture high-quality pictures of cow burps from space.

The pictures were taken in the Joaquin Valley in California, in the US, during February.

Why do scientists want to monitor cow burps?

When cows burp or fart they release a gas called methane, which is a big contributor to global warming and climate change.

Cows burp a lot because when their four stomachs break down grass and other food, gas is produced and they have to get rid of it.

Scientists want to monitor methane because it is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere like a blanket, warming the planet.

Looking at their results, the scientists found the amount of methane released at the farm they studied in Joaquin Valley was between 361 to 668 kilograms per hour.

If this carried on for a year, enough gas would be released to power just over 15,000 homes!

According to Nasa, almost a quarter of the world’s methane emissions come from the agriculture industry, most of which is from raising farm animals for meat and dairy.

Scientists hope that this information can be used to help set official targets to limit the amount of methane produced.

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