The Extinction Chronicles

by Mike Hudak

10 November 2008

Revision dates: 5 February 2013, 21 July 2015,
7 February 2017, 10 July 2017


In this essay I will estimate the annual contribution to atmospheric green-house gases from methane (CH4) that results from enteric fermentation1 in cattle that graze on U.S. federal public lands. I’ll also compare the CH4 con-tribution of public lands cattle to that of several other sources and sinks of CH4, including emission of CH4 due to oil and gas production on federal lands.
The amount by which the public lands contribution to atmospheric CH4would change as a result of cattle removal is a more complex matter than are the above-mentioned topics. In the absence of ranching operations, the re-covery of native flora and fauna would provide many new sources and sinks of atmospheric CH4. Although…

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