Saturday, March 25, 2023

A NASA measurement falls on the story of Argentine cows

Argentina is one of the few countries in the world with a positive carbon balance, according to a study published in Earth System Sciences that used measurements made by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission.

As can be seen in the map, which shows the average emissions and removals of carbon dioxide from 2015 to 2020 using estimates in measurements from the NASA OCO-2 satellite, Argentina is on the list of countries with a positive carbon balance.

The table was developed by Adrián Bifaretti and Eugenia Brusca, from the Argentine Beef Promotion Institute (IPCVA), which does not pollute the environment and provides opportunities for Argentine cattle.

“Measurement of carbon dioxide goes to the Institute based on the calculation and estimation of how much carbon dioxide is emitted in all sectors of the economy, such as transport and agriculture. These have been used for years. These have made it possible to evaluate the progress in emission reduction efforts. But its elaboration leaves out a more important part of the story: the incorporation of carbon dioxide into the ground,” said the experts.

They then noted that the study, published in Earth System Sciences, “provides a new perspective for tracking both fossil fuel emissions and overall changes in carbon stocks in ecosystems, including trees, shrubs, and soils.”


“The information is particularly useful for tracking the uncertainties of carbon dioxide related to land cover change. Although the OCO-2 mission was not designed to calculate the emissions of different countries, the results reach more than 100 countries in a timely manner”, express Bifaretti and Brusca.

In this context, they noted that “Argentina was found to be one of the few countries with a positive balance (green color) due to the sequestration of carbon in pastures (forests, bushes, pastures, etc.)”.

Later they explained how the process is done. “The process is done through the consumption of cows that mostly graze on pastures and natural pastures in our region. These forages take carbon dioxide from the air as part of the natural ecosystem through photosynthesis. Cows digest the carbon in the grass, releasing methane into the atmosphere. But the methane they emit it is “made” according to the carbon consumed in the hay and its duration is between 10 to 12 years in the atmosphere. After that time the methane is changed into water and carbon dioxide. One that is naturally absorbed through photosynthesis by pastures and natural pastures. So the same cycle repeats itself over and over again. It is pure nature,” he emphasized.

The discovery is that Argentina is one of the few countries that appears with a positive balance (green color) due to the sequestration of carbon in pasture lands (forests, bushes, pastures, etc.)

And they added: “The green color of the map with the data prepared by NASA is in perfect agreement with the means of production of our country, when compared to other more industrial and intensive livestock farms like those that are made in other countries of the world; our cows graze on almost the entire field and their feed are characterized by the low use of inputs, agrochemicals and chemical fertilizers”.

According to the authors, they can no longer blame cattle “as one of the causes of global warming and climate change”. That’s why they said: Food is not to blame, but the solution to the care of the planet we live in!

LA NACIONMeet The Trust Project

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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