Oct. 7 (UPI) — Warming temperatures may inspire a feedback loop of climate-altering flatulence, according to a new paper published Wednesday in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
Over the last decade, atmospheric methane concentrations have risen dramatically, and studies suggest livestock and their digestive systems are responsible for roughly half of the increase in methane emissions.
Scientists suggest the problem is likely to get worse as temperatures rise.
According to the new paper, a review of scientific literature on livestock health and methane emissions, rates of parasitic worm and bacterial infections are expected to rise as the planet warms. When cows, sheep and other animals are battling an infection, they emit more methane.
“Some parasitic worms spend part of their life cycle in the external environment — on grass, for example — and temperature can affect the rate at which these parasites develop into a life stage that