June 16, 2024 at 12:33 pm

Researchers Say A Single Herd Of Bison Could Offset The C02 Output Of 40,000 Cars

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

The climate change scenario has gotten so dire that scientists are literally throwing every wild, pie-in-the-sky idea at the wall just in case something might stick.

Now, researchers say more bison might be at least part of the answer to cleansing C02 from the air.

Which might come as something of a surprise, since environmentalists have moaned for years about how bad cows are for the Earth.

In 2014, a rewilding project in Romania introduced European bison to the foothills of the Tarcu mountains. They hadn’t been seen in the wild there for over two centuries, and after just 10 years back on the land, scientists are ready to say the impact has been nothing short of remarkable.

Researchers found that the bison herd, now numbering around 170, takes 54,000 tons of carbon out of the atmosphere every year.

Source: Shutterstock

That’s the equivalent of what 43,000 American cars put into the atmosphere in the same time.

It’s also more than 10x the amount of carbon captured in the region before the bison were reintroduced.

There is a growing body of evidence that animals can actually play a positive role in reducing greenhouse gases, instead of the opposite.

The difference between these bison and cows, however, is the fact that they are living and feeding in natural ways.

The bison play a key role in maintaining an ecosystem’s diversity of plant life. And plants are the heavy lifters when it comes to sucking up unwanted carbon, says lead author Oswald Schmitz.

“Bison influence grassland and forest ecosystems by grazing grasslands evenly, recycling nutrients to fertilize the soil and all of its life, dispersing seeds to enrich the ecosystem, and compacting the soil to prevent stored carbon from being released.”

He goes on to explain how, for millions of years, the Earth maintained a positive balance with the help of natural ecosystems.

“These creatures evolved for millions of years with grassland and forest ecosystems, and their removal, especially where grasslands have been ploughed up, has led to the release of vast amounts of carbon. Restoring these ecosystems can bring back balance, and ‘rewilded’ bison are some of the climate heroes that can help achieve this.”

This news study suggests that animals and other forms of wildlife could be just as helpful as plants when it comes to scrubbing C02.

Source: Shutterstock

Scientist Alexander Lees, who was not involved in the study, agrees.

“This study reinforces an emerging consensus that large mammals have very important roles in the carbon cycle. Rewilding efforts, including, where appropriate, reintroductions, represent key tools in tackling the intertwined biodiversity and climate crises.”

It’s past time for out-of-the-box solutions.

Thank goodness the researchers out there are ready with a whole bunch of ideas.

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