Rise in Methane Levels Due to Agriculture
Levels of methane gas in the atmosphere are on the rise, according to data published online in Environmental Research Letters. Recent analyses show an acceleration rate for methane 10 times the rate measured in 2007. The dominant causes for the rise in gas include the farming of cattle and are a concern for climate change mitigation. The authors state that reductions in methane due to modified policies for agriculture and other industries would ease global warming and increase food security.
Transitioning to a plant-based diet could reduce global mortality and greenhouse gases caused by food production by 10 percent and 70 percent, respectively, by 2050. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ official stance on vegetarian diets concludes plant-based diets are more sustainable and less damaging to the environment.
Saunois M, Jackson RB, Bousquet P, Poulter B, Canadell JG. The growing role of methane in anthropogenic climate change. Environ Res Lett. 2016;11:120207.
Springmann M, Godfray HCJ, Rayner M, Scarborough P. Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113:4146–4151.
Melina V, Craig W, Levin S. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: vegetarian diets. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016;116:1970-1980.
Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016, 202-686-2210. Join the Physicians Committee and receive the quarterly magazine, Good Medicine.