Download: Fast, Fun, Awesome
study in australia
student information in australia
Australian University graduate information
professional networking for australian university students
employment links for australian university students
University quizzes for australian students

Measuring and Managing Methane Emissions from Livestock

Efforts to reduce livestock methane emissions in Australia received a major boost with the launch of a new research cluster led by the University of Melbourne and drawing on expertise from five other Australian universities, researchers in Canada and the CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship.

The collaboration, called the ‘Livestock Methane Research Cluster’ aims to improve measurement and management of methane emissions from cattle, which they burp into the atmosphere.

Agriculture directly accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and the grazing lands of northern Australia are thought to be responsible for about one-third of these total emissions.

Professor Deli Chen from the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment said the new Cluster will draw on the skills of world-leading research institutes to accurately measure methane emissions from livestock under real grazing conditions.

“This is a critical step if we are to help agriculture reduce its emissions because if you can’t measure, you can’t mitigate,” Professor Chen said.

“Our research may also help boost the productivity of the cattle industry in a more sustainable way because an estimated 2–12 per cent of the energy ingested by cattle is lost as methane waste, reducing beef production and costing graziers money.”

The team will use a range of sophisticated instruments including open path lasers and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) as well as aircraft mounted cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) based detectors to measure methane in the atmosphere.

A laser beam is sent across a paddock for a few hundred metres and then reflected back to a detector, allowing emission levels to be calculated using computer modelling.

CSIRO’s Research Project Leader, Dr Ed Charmley, said the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Act set a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent of 2000 levels by the year 2050.

“This research will help identify field-based measurement techniques and protocols that can support management actions and technologies that can help Australia meet such ambitious targets,” Dr Charmley said.

“The Cluster will also develop science that supports methodology development for the Carbon Farming Initiative, an Australian Government program that enables farmers to earn ‘carbon credits’ for undertaking abatement activities on their properties,” Dr Charmley said.

CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund will fund the Cluster for three years, with support from several other Australian universities including Macquarie University, RMIT, University of New England, University of Western Australia, and University of Wollongong as well as researchers at Agriculture and AgriFood Canada and the University of Alberta.

More information:

Professor Deli Chen

Melbourne School of Land and Environment

P: 8344 8148
E: delichen@unimelb.edu.au

 

Dr Nerissa Hannink

Media office

P: 8344 8151

M: 0430 588 055

E: nhannink@unimelb.edu.au

Leave a reply

Feature Research
Controlling fear by modifying DNA

For many people, fear of flying or of spiders skittering across the lounge room floor is more than just a [more]

Kidney disease gene controls cancer highway

University of Queensland researchers have discovered that a gene that causes kidney disease also controls growth of the lymphatic system, [more]

Queensland fraud is a billion dollar business

Queensland businesses could be losing over $12 billion per annum as a result of company fraud according to a recent study [more]

Inside the mind of a burglar

Burglars are opportunistic, generally choose their targets at random and know all the tricks householders try to use as deterrents, [more]

Flight experiment goes boldly forth to advance new technology

A hypersonic flight experiment at eight times the speed of sound, led by a University of Queensland PhD student, has [more]

Pre-drinking alcohol before hitting the nightclubs likely to lead to violence

The increasingly common practice of drinking at home before hitting the nightclubs is the major predictor of people experiencing harm [more]

Research reveals women are more interested in a man’s earning capacity than the size of his wallet

Despite ABBA’s insistence that women long for “money, money, money”, research has found that The Beatles were on the [more]

Challenges still face women seeking seniority in business

Research conducted by the UTS Centre for Corporate Governance underpinning the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership reveals a decade [more]

Swiss Army Knife teeth secret to seal’s success

Biologists have shown how an advanced set of teeth give Antarctic leopard seals the biological tools to feast on prey [more]

Beautiful physics: Tying knots in light

New research published today seeks to push the discovery that light can be tied in knots to the next level. [more]