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Currently proposed types of lab-grown meat cannot provide a cure-all for the detrimental climate impacts of meat production without a large-scale transition to a decarbonised energy system, a new study has found.
The study, from the LEAP (Livestock, Environment and People) programme at the Oxford Martin School, found that some projections for the uptake of particular forms of cultured meat could indeed be better for the climate, but others could actually lead to higher global temperatures in the long run. Published in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, their findings highlight that the climate impact of cultured meat production will depend on its energy demands and the availability of low-carbon energy sources.
Deal - Interest - Meat - Articles - Potential
"There has been a great deal of public interest in cultured meat recently, and many articles highlight the potential for substituting cattle beef with cultured meat to provide an important climate benefit," explains lead author Dr. John Lynch.
"We show that it is not yet clear whether this is the case, partly because of uncertainties about how cultured meat would be produced at scale. An important issue in comparing farmed and cultured beef is that the different warming impacts of greenhouse gases are also not well accounted for in the standard measure used in carbon footprints."
Culture - Club - Miracle
The Culture Club: is it a miracle?
Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for around a quarter of current global warming. Replacing conventional cattle farming with 'labriculture' - meat grown in the lab using cell culture techniques—has been widely discussed as a way of reducing this environmental impact. But these estimates are based on carbon-dioxide equivalent footprints, which can be misleading because not all greenhouse gases generate the same amount of warming or have the same lifespan.
Cattle - Amount - Methane - Fermentation - Gut
"Cattle are very emissions-intensive because they produce a large amount of methane from fermentation in their gut," advises study co-author Raymond Pierrehumbert,...
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