Can toilet training cows help with climate change? Not so much
In one of the more creative—and perhaps most unusual—efforts to mitigate the impacts of food production on climate change in recent years, researchers in Germany have been working to potty train cows, Gizmodo reports. Microbes in the ground eat ammonia from cow urine and convert it into nitrous oxide, a major greenhouse gas. Getting cows to pee on a patch of fake grass doesn’t do anything about methane production, but it would prevent ammonia from getting into the soil. While the experiment reminds us how smart cows are, it’s unlikely that we will be seeing animal toilets on large farms anytime soon, the news organization points out. Sure, every little effort helps, but potty training bovines is unlikely to make a huge dent in the production of greenhouse gases.