A picture taken on July 16, 2018 shows a cattle taking shelter from the sun under a tree in Malmkoping, Central Sweden.
/ AFP / TT NEWS AGENCY / Maja SUSLIN
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From New Zealand to the United States and Kenya to Colombia, scientists are on a mission to fight global warming by making livestock less gassy. Livestock are responsible for about 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.Although less prevalent than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, methane is more potent because it traps 28 times more heat, according to a 2016 study by the Global Carbon Project, which groups climate researchers.Thousands of miles away, New Zealand's AgResearch has bred sheep to produce 10 percent less methane.BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITYAttempts to reduce methane emissions from livestock are not limited to the world's most affluent nations.The tailored diet means each animal produces 12 to 15 percent less methane, according to Sharma.Over the past five years, the program has reached about 2.6 million of the nearly 300 million cows and buffalos recorded in India's 2014 livestock census, he said.Improvements in productivity alone could reduce up to 30 percent of methane emissions from livestock globally, said Anne Mottet, FAO's livestock policy officer.Beef farming in particular has been heavily criticized, as it accounts for 41 percent of the livestock sector's greenhouse gas emissions, according to FAO.
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