Researchers discovered a pink seaweed that ‘completely knocks out’ greenhouse gasses expelled by cows
via Ria Tan / Flickr and Kevin Walsh / Flickr

Climate change deniers often mock the claim that gas expelled from cows, either through the mouth or the bottom, is a major cause of global warming.

It was even a point of debate when Republicans were discussing the Green New Deal.

But it's true. According to the United Nations, livestock farming produces about 18% of environmentally damaging gases — and about a quarter of that chunk comes from cow emissions.

When cows digest food in their intestines it ferments, which causes them to expel methane. When methane is released into the atmosphere without being burned off, it absorbs the sun's heat, warming the atmosphere.


RELATED: Still don't think climate change matters? Here's how it's hitting people where it hurts.

Dr. Nick Paul, a University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Seaweed Research Group leader Associate Professor, believes he may have a solution to the massive amount of greenhouse gasses expelled by cows.

He has discovered that when cows eat asparagopsis, a puffy pink seaweed that grows prolifically off the Queensland Coast in Australia, they stop producing methane.

"When added to cow feed at less than two percent of the dry matter, this particular seaweed completely knocks out methane production," Dr. Paul said in a statement. "It contains chemicals that reduce the microbes in the cows' stomachs that cause them to burp when they eat grass."

Plus, the cows think it's pretty tasty.

"Seaweed is something that cows are known to eat. They will actually wander down to the beach and have a bit of a nibble," Dr. Paul said.

His team at USC is currently researching ways to grow more of the seaweed species so one day it can be used to supplement cow feed on a global basis.

RELATED: Finnish company making food of the future out of thin air

"This seaweed has caused a lot of global interest and people around the world are working to make sure the cows are healthy, the beef and the milk are good quality," Dr. Paul said.

"That's all happening right now," he continued. "But the one missing step, the big thing that is going to make sure this works at a global scale, is to make sure we can produce the seaweed sustainably."

The researchers aren't just looking for ways to mass produce the seaweed, they are studying its chemical composition so similar compounds can be made that mimic the seaweeds effects.

"We know the chemical composition of asparagopsis and we know the chemical compounds that actually reduce methane production in cows, so now we want to maximise the concentration of that chemical so we can use less seaweed for the same effect," project scientist Ana Wegner said.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

Keep Reading Show less