Jan. 31, 2019

According to a recent research study published in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed Scientific Reports, Cow urine may also contribute to global warming.

Recent Study: 

  • That cattle and livestock are a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas, and therefore a contributor to global warming, is well-known. However, the role of cow urine is less understood. 

  • In this background, The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia conducted a study in Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago on the linkages between cow urine and global warming. 

  • Key findings: 
    • Cow urine may also contribute to global warming as it is a source of nitrous oxide emissions (N2O), a gas that is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. 

    • Most times, when cow urine is used in degraded pastures, which are also seen in vast tracts of land in India, N2O emissions are tripled. 

    • Degraded grasslands emitted more N2O than healthy pastures because the vegetation in the latter took up some of the reactive nitrogen compounds and only the leftovers were emitted. 

  • Implications for India: 
    • Dung and urine are commonly mixed together for manure in Indian fields. 

    • Since, India also hosts the world’s largest livestock population, as well as significant tracts of degraded land, the findings may have a bearing on nitrogen emissions from Indian fields. 

    • Studies like these are probably needed and useful for Indian livestock emission studies as India has very limited research on this. 

Source : The Hindu