Agricultural methane source

A surprising source of climate calamity

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Written by: Alexa Stone
Natural Gas Rig

Today’s super storms, famine, and rampant wildfires are, substantially, the consequence of climate change resulting from human induced Greenhouse Gases (GhG). To slow this process, CO2 and methane emissions are of immediate concern. Current atmospheric methane concentrations are higher than at any point in the past 800,000 years.

In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warned of reaching the Paris Climate Agreement’s maximum global temperatures by 2040. Their current report cuts ten years from that timeline. Recognizing the urgency, the panel’s GhG concerns have expanded from longer-term CO2 impacts to now consider the more powerful short-term impact of methane.

Cutting methane emissions is the single fastest, most effective way to limit climate change consequences.

GhG IMPACT

    • CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 300 to 1000 years.
    • Methane breaks up in about 12 years. During that time, it traps nearly 90 times more heat than CO2.

Where’s it coming from?

About 25% of the methane released into the atmosphere has been attributed to fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas. An even greater amount, 33%, has been attributed to agriculture, especially livestock. The average cow burps 220 pounds of methane a year. In California alone, the cattle population brings more methane pollution than 2.5 million cars.

Got cows? — Get seaweed!

A recent study, inspired by observing cattle at a seaside farm, found a dietary change that could reduce methane in bovine burps by 82%. Participating cattle consumed a daily supplement of 1.5 – 3.0 ounces of an Australian red seaweed for 21 weeks. Their per-cow methane output was reduced to 40 pounds per year.

A significant challenge remains. Currently, that 82% reduction is only achievable on feed lots. As calves, heifers, and younger cows, the animals graze in pastures. There – unless in seaside Australia – red seaweed is seldom found.

SOURCES:

Gizmodo.com (8/9/2021) — Methane Is a New Big Enemy in the Battle Over Climate Change, IPCC Says
SmithsonianMag.com — Smithsonian Magazine (3/23/2021) Seaweed-Fed Cows Burp Less Planet-Warming Methane
RevealNews.org — Reveal podcast transcript (6/12/2021)

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The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

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Disaster resilience requires a select toolset, identified, adapted, or created as needed based on planning calls and inclusive workshop participation.

Business and government organizations today are confronted by threat categories that range from drought to flood, from fire to hurricane, and extend globally to pandemics and sea level rise. Threat categories are broad and diverse, but ecoPreserve and collaborating organizations design resiliency tools for specific local context.

Local needs are identified and verified. Building from that essential understanding, tools are designed, tested in pilot programs, refined, then implemented through action plans.

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In response to ever-increasing environmental, sociopolitical, and public health challenges, we advocate for and participate in assessment and planning actions that directly address disaster preparations, recovery activities, infrastructure improvements, and smart building/city design.

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Often an event is held for skill and knowledge development, but some needs of an organization or community are better resolved through collaboration to identify requirements and to design solutions. A range of Disaster Resilience workshops are available for solutions planning and development, as well as for training and communication.

Disaster Planning and Recovery Workshops

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Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
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  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
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Risk Mitigation Improvements

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  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
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Interior Elements

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Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
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  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
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  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.