Emissions

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Total GHG emissions from U.S. beef production (farm to gate) = 3.7%  

Calculations: In the Rotz et al. 2018, it finds the total GHG emissions from beef production (farm to gate) as 243 +/- 26 Tg CO2e.   

*Note Tg is equivalent to million metric tons (MMT)    

On U.S. EPA (Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer | US EPA), total US GHG emissions in 2017 were 6488 MMT CO2e.    

243 MMT CO2e / 6488 MMT CO2e = 3.7%    

Sources:  (1) US EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer. 2017. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Data Explorer | US EPA  (2) CA Rotz, S Asem-Hiablie, S Place, G Thoma., 2018. Environmental footprints of beef cattle production in the United States. Agricultural Systems. Advance online publication. doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2018.11.005 

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, greenhouse gas from beef cattle only represented 2.2% of emissions in the U.S in 2019. 

Found on US EPA 1990-2019 Report: Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2019 – Main Text - Corrected Per Corrigenda, Updated 05/2021 (epa.gov)  

Total U.S. emissions for 2019 (bottom Table ES-2): 6,558.3 MMT CO2 eq.   

Beef Cattle Emissions for 2019:   

  1. CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation 2019 (Table 5-3): 129.1 MMT CO2eq 
  2. CH4 emissions from manure management 2019 (Table 5-7): 3.4 MMT CO2eq 
  3. N2O emissions from manure management 2019 (Table 5-7): 9.4 MMT CO2eq

Total beef cattle emissions 2019: 129.1 + 3.4 + 9.4 = 141.9 MMT CO2eq   

(141.9 MMT CO2eq / 6,558.3 MMT CO2eq) = 2.16% (rounded to 2.2% if rounding to the nearest tenth, or 2% if rounding to nearest whole number)