Cows affect climate change more than cars, according to new research which demonstrates that methane produced by cows is increasing at a faster rate than gases produced by man-made emissions.

Dr Andy Thorpe, an economist at the University of Portsmouth, reveals that a herd of 200 cows can produce annual emissions of methane equal in greenhouse gas terms to a car burning 21,400 litres of petrol.  

Dr Thorpe also says that, while carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 31 per cent over the past 250 years, methane has increased by 149 per cent.

Methane in the atmosphere is thought to be responsible for one-fifth of global warming since 1750 records, although there was a recent study which demonstrated that, if cows were fed a different diet, their methane emissions could be reduced.

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Dr Thorpe’s research concludes that cows affect climate change more than cars, with methane produced by cows increasing at a faster rate than gases produced by man-made emissions.

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