Listen guys. Farting is no laughing matter. Sure it’s a funny sound and the smell often lands a chuckle, but really…
Ok, ok, farting is hilarious. And just imaging how great it would be to hear a massive Brontosaurus lay a devastating blast in front of his jungle friends. Well, according to John Moore University’s David Wilkinson, they were doing just that, and the amusing bodily function played a major role in the production of greenhouse gasses and their emissions likely increased the temperature of the Earth.
BBC Nature reports that Wilkinson and his university cohorts have used cows as a model to estimate how much gas was actually being released by the giant creatures roaming our planet millions of years ago. Their findings point to dinos creating 520 tons of methane each year just from their flatulence. You may be thinking, “Wow, Terra Nova must have smelled like shit.” Interestingly enough, that’s not much less than is produced now, however not quite as much of our methane emissions come from our asses.
Cattle produce 50-100 tons per year, but many other factors contribute to the rise in current methane output, including the industries herding that cattle in dairy and meat production. Other industries play a part as well, but we are only just reaching the amount of methane excreted by the prehistoric sauropods, pushing roughly 500 millions tons per year.
With the population of the modern Earth always on the rise, it’s no surprise that we’ve been seeing an increase in methane emissions that have been contributing to global warming, which is definitely a real thing, whether you like it or not. In the Mesozoic Era, thanks in part to dinosaur farts the Earth was on average about 18F warmer than it is today, which doesn’t seem like much, but on a 95 degree day in Florida, 18 more degrees can make a lot of difference. And on an 18 degree day in the arctic, 18 more degrees can change the world.
It’s a funny study, no doubt. The word “fart” on its own garners snickers and chuckles from anyone who hasn’t completely lost their sense of humor. However, it’s a strong reminder that as methane emissions rise at present, we’re eventually going to force our temperature higher. Listen to Al Gore, everyone. We need to make a change, and eat a bit less of the magic fruit…because our toots are hurting the Earth.