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Action to reduce methane emissions already underway


Alberta livestock research staying ahead of climate change warnings

(October 30, 2018) Calgary -

With the recent release of The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, current research by Genome Alberta on methane reduction is timely to say the least.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC. According to the report, accomplishing this would require rapid and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, including agriculture.

As it turns out, Alberta researchers have been leading the charge for years now to reduce one of the worst global warming offenders: methane.
In conjunction with their colleagues in other parts of Canada and around the world, Alberta scientists are involved in ground-breaking climate change research. Their focus is applying genomics – the sequencing and analysis of an organism’s DNA – to boost feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in dairy and beef cattle.

By lowering the methane emitted when cows burp, this research targets a major greenhouse gas that is said to have 25 times the potential of CO2 for global warming.

“What is unique about this research is the international nature of it,” said Gijs van Rooijen, Chief Scientific Officer at Genome Alberta. “Through this approach, we can take advantage of huge data sets generated by other jurisdictions, working with scientists in the lab and investigators in the field. In the process, we’re finding common ground and developing joint research goals for dealing with the effects of climate change.”
With the global population growing rapidly, the necessity of feeding more people with less strain on the environment has never been greater.
“Genomics provides the opportunity to produce the same amount of protein with reduced inputs, and that is something we should all be really excited about.”

                                            (with files from Geoff Geddes)

Genome Alberta is involved in a number of research projects aimed at improving agricultural efficiency and meeting the challenges of climate change. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Mike Spear
Director of Corporate Communications
Genome Alberta
Cell: 403-813-5843

About Genome Alberta

Genome Alberta is a publicly funded not-for profit corporation which invests primarily in large-scale genome sciences research projects and technology platforms focused on areas of strategic importance to the province including, forestry, plant and animal agriculture, energy, environment, and human health. By working collaboratively with government, universities, and industry, Genome Alberta is a catalyst for a vibrant life sciences cluster with far reaching social and economic benefits for Alberta and Canada. To date, the organization has managed a research portfolio with approved budgets of over $228 million. Please visit Genome Alberta’s website at genomealberta.ca for more information.

Action to reduce methane emissions already underway

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