[4 October/ New Zealand Herald]

International researchers published in ‘Carbon Balance and Management’ has estimated that global livestock methane emissions for 2011 were 11 percent higher than guidelines provided by the UN’s 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This included an 8.4 percent increase in methane from digestion in dairy cows and other cattle, and a 36.7 percent methane increase from effluent management. These increases in animal productivity meant higher feed intakes, and hence, higher methane production. New Zealand scientists said the research shouldn’t query the rigour of New Zealand’s agricultural methane accounting. New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre Director Dr Harry Clark said New Zealand had one of the most detailed inventories in the world, and already took into account the factors incorporated into the new study. Dr Clark added countries must now provide biennial greenhouse gas emissions updates and hopefully, this will cause accurate and continuous updating of agricultural emissions.