Math! How much CO2 is released by Dairy Cow?

Yes, I did it on CO2 emission by human being, CH4 emission by dairy cow, and this time: CO2 by dairy cow! Yes, dairy cow, just like any other animal being, do respiration, and exhale CO2 as well.

From this paper, the lactating cows are emitting 6137 ± 505 L CO2 per day (before correcting the gas emission from manure) or 5756L (value#1) per day (after substraction of CO2 emission from manure). The value of CO2 emission from some other references is cited in the same paper as well: 4940L (value#2), 5396L (value#3) and 6515L (value#4) per day.  These 4 values will be used to calculate how much CO2 is released by all the dairy cows in the world in 1 year and is shown with the table below:

And compared this value to human being on earth (as of year 2007), human population is breathing about 1362 million tonnes (case#1) or 2618 million tonnes (case#2) CO2 per year. By comparing the numbers here, dairy cow is pretty much catching up with human being, even though their number 0.238 billion is far less than human population, 6.6 billion.

8 Comments

  1. David Smith said,

    July 11, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    I believe that the above is endlesslly fascinating and would love to be posted on more starterling facts or be emailed a news letter if there is one

  2. Ryan said,

    October 16, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Just wondering how much CO2 is produced just from the decomposition of the manure from the dairy cows?

  3. Sona Peskin said,

    September 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    If we stopped feeding dogs from grazing animals and fed them on the abundant rabbit (which would be their natural diet) and human left overs from local sources with approximately 90 million dogs in the UK and US think of the emmisions saved from feeding, transportaion and rearing cattle for food. The waste from an animal would be better disposed of at source and cause less environmental impact. I would welcome comments and if we have any mathmaticians out there the amount of CO2 gases and other poisonous gases/ammonia this measure would save

  4. October 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    […] breathes out in that same hour. Now, wikianswers says 2.4 grams per hour for a human being, and micpohling says 462.2916667 grams per hour (average of the four figures from the link divided by 24 hours in a […]

  5. Sona Peskin said,

    November 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

    On reflection wouldn’t it be better to feed dogs dried food as this uses less resouces than any meat production ?

  6. February 14, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    […] average 1.1 metric tonnes of carbon per year. To put that into context, an English dairy cow emits about four times that, just by eating grass and […]

  7. February 17, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    […] average 1.1 metric tonnes of carbon per year. To put that into context, an English dairy cow emits about four times that, just by eating grass and […]

  8. April 16, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    […] average 1.1 metric tonnes of carbon per year. To put that into context, an English dairy cow emits about four times that, just by eating grass and […]


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