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cows burping and mooing

Cows in Galicia, Spain | Fernando Losada Rodríguez

March 7, 2022

Cow Burps Are A Major Contributor to Climate Change — Can Scientists Change That?

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Summary

Livestock production—primarily cows—produce 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of that is in the form of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is a natural byproduct of how some livestock process food. But as Christopher Booker reports, scientists are hoping that small tweaks in what cows eat can dramatically reduce a big source of climate emissions. Watch the video on burping cows below and answer the questions.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions: Curbing Cow Burps

  • Who is working to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced by cows?
  • How much methane do cows produce through gas?
  • What are greenhouse gases?
  • Why are greenhouse gases important?
  • What solution is proposed in this piece to reduce methane emissions form cows?

Focus Questions

What are some of the experiments involved in figuring out whether methane from cows can be reduced? Why do you think these experiments are important?

Media literacy: Why do you think the producers focused on this story as a way to show how scientists are trying to counteract climate change?

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

Lesson Plans on Climate Change

Explore more resources for educators to find a wide-range of relevant preK-12 lessons on climate change or supporting young people as they continue to lead the conversation around the climate change crisis.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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