So writes Alister Doyle, Environment correspondent from Reuters
OSLO, April 7 (Reuters) – Grazing by cows or sheep can cut emissions of nitrous oxide — a powerful greenhouse gas — in grasslands from China to the United States, according to a study that overturns past belief that farm animals stoke releases.
Adding to understanding of links between agriculture and global warming, the report in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature said livestock can help to limit microbes in the soil that generate the gas, also known as laughing gas.
“It’s been generally assumed that if you increase livestock numbers you get a rise in emissions of nitrous oxide. This is not the case,” said Klaus Butterbach-Bahl of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany who was among the authors.
The study by scientists in China, Britain and Germany focused on grazed and ungrazed land in areas prone to winter frost and snow. It found that grazed land produced less N2O than ungrazed land. The reason for this was that the microbes responsible for N2O production did not survive the frosts and snow as well as they did on ungrazed land because the vegetation was generally shorter on grazed land, and snow build up was less.
The study also found that emissions of N2O were low at other times of the year despite past belief that manure from livestock helps spur releases of nitrous oxide.
So this means that farmers in areas that experience snow and frost are saving the planet because by grazing their land they are producing less N2O than if they left them ungrazed. Parts of NZ experience snow and frost so how did Agreserach miss that valuable piece of information?
It also questions past belief that manure from livestock helps spur releases of nitrous oxide. Past belief as preached by Agreserach, Fonterra and Dairy NZ and Massey University to name a few.
Our Government should not be basing major economic policy on beliefs in the first place but when they become past beliefs any Government that does not review its position is pretty stupid.
This study does not necessarily relate to all NZ farmland (although parts of NZ must have similarities)but it surely demonstrates the amateurish nature of the climate change industry because the area it does relate to is huge and the result is that worldwide N2O emissions have been hugely overstated.
More evidence that it really pays to take anything the climate change industry says with a grain of salt.