Cow backpacks measure bovine burps to fight global warming

There are no two ways around it: cow burps and farts produce methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Growing meat in a lab is one way reduce this problem, but it's hardly an immediate solution. How about putting giant backpacks on cows to capture the offending gas, as shown in the pictures above?

Sadly, the backpacks themselves don't solve any problems. Instead, they've been helping scientists in Argentina measure cows' methane emissions so that they can figure out how to reduce them. While the Brits are trying garlic, the Argentine scientists are testing diets that move cattle from eating grain, which is harder for them to digest, to plants like alfalfa and clover. These small changes could make a big difference, especially in countries like Argentina, where cows may generate 30% of Argentina's greenhouse gas emissions. We think these scientists are thinking small, however: why not attach a backpack to every cow and use the resulting methane as rocket fuel?

Reuters, via Inhabitat