Animals contribute to greenhouse gases

Smoke-belching coal-fired power stations and factories and fossil fuel-guzzling motor vehicles may be seen as the big villains of the global climate change debate, but they aren’t the only ones contributing to the greenhouse effect.

Australia’s hundreds of millions of cattle, sheep, pigs and other agricultural animals – not to mention our native fauna – also release significant amounts of methane and other gases into the atmosphere.

To better understand global environmental issues such as the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion, we need to understand the sources and transformation of atmospheric gases, including those produced by animals.

The Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Wollongong is studying the impact of agricultural animals on atmospheric gases in different climatic regions of Australia. Part of its monitoring program involves a unique partnership with the famous Ghan train, which travels between Alice Springs and Darwin and will carry an FTIR spectrometer that measures atmospheric gases as it crosses the continent.

For more information: University of Wollongong,

Prof. David Griffith, Tel: +61 2 42215490,