Cattle urine’s planet-warming power can be curtailed with land restoration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cali, Colombia, 29 January 2019 —When cow urine falls on degraded land, it releases far more nitrous oxide – a potent greenhouse gas – than when absorbed by healthy pasture. The findings of a new study show additional benefits of landscape restoration and conservation.

The exceptional climate-altering capabilities of cattle are mainly due to methane, which they blast into the atmosphere during their daily digestive routine. Cattle urine is a lesser-known climate offender. It produces nitrous oxide (N2O), which has warming power far greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main driver of global warming. A study conducted by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and partners shows that these N2O emissions can be significantly curbed by healthy cattle pastures.