Scientists claim to know how to measure the methane output of dinosaurs and now they’re claiming the large beasts were guilty of… you guessed it! Global warming!
[typography font="Droid Serif" size="20" size_format="px" color="#660000"]Dinosaur gases ‘warmed the Earth’[/typography]
British scientists have calculated the methane output of sauropods, including the species known as Brontosaurus.
By scaling up the digestive wind of cows, they estimate that the population of dinosaurs – as a whole – produced 520 million tonnes of gas annually.
They suggest the gas could have been a key factor in the warm climate 150 million years ago.
Previous studies have suggested that the Earth was up to 10C (18F) warmer in the Mesozoic Era.
With the knowledge that livestock emissions currently contribute a significant part to global methane levels, the researchers used existing data to estimate how sauropods could have affected the climate.
Their calculations considered the dinosaurs’ estimated total population and used a scale that links biomass to methane output for cattle.
“Cows today produce something like 50-100 [million tonnes] per year. Our best estimate for Sauropods is around 520 [million tonnes],” said Dr Wilkinson.
That’s a lot of educated guess-timating, but I reckon that’s how science works.