Study: Humans Contributing to Global Warming by Breathing


A U.K. study found humans may be contributing to global warming by the simple – and necessary – act of breathing.

Scientists affiliated with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Edinburgh said methane and nitrous oxide in the air we exhale make up .1 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists found that, when accounting for burps and farts, humans are fueling alleged global warming by exhaling from their lungs.

“We would urge caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible,” the study’s conclusion stated.

The study’s conclusion continued:

We report only emissions in breath in this study, and flatus emissions are likely to increase these values significantly, though no literature characterises these emissions for people in the UK. Assuming that livestock and other wild animals also exhale emissions of N2O, there may still be a small but significant unaccounted for source of N2O emissions in the UK, which could account for more than 1% of national-scale emissions.

The researchers did not find any connection between gases and diet.

“Concentration enhancement of both CH4 and N2O in the breath of vegetarians and meat consumers are similar in magnitude. Based on these results, we can state that, when estimating emissions from a population within the UK, diet or future diet changes are unlikely to be important when estimating emissions across the UK as a whole,” the study explained.


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