Scientists: Halve Meat Consumption to Fight Global Warming

A new study says the developed world needs to eat half as much meat to curb nitrous oxide emissions.

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Keeping in line with recent studies that point to the harmful environmental impact of the meat industry, new research suggests that reducing the demand for meat may play a serious role in curbing the effects of global warming. According to scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center, the developed world needs to cut its meat consumption by 50 percent in order to stabilize emissions of nitrous oxide—the biggest man-made contributor to the hole in the ozone. Additionally, because nitrous oxide is a byproduct of the nitrogen found in manure and fertilizers, researchers say the meat industry needs to modify current agricultural systems to use nitrogen more efficiently. Nitrous oxide is the third most dangerous greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane, both of which are also released in meat production.