Years ago, I caught some criticism regarding a column about cows and methane gas. It is believed methane caused by farm animals accounts for 15 percent of the total greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. By monitoring and calculating this gas release, a greater understanding in global greenhouse emissions can be achieved. Years ago, experts at LSU verified that measuring emissions from animals is difficult due to the large amount of air samples required and measuring techniques that interfere with the animal’s behavior. The Journal of Environmental Quality reports a new technique is being tested. An open-path laser can measure methane concentrations over five fixed paths over a cattle paddock attached to Global Positioning Systems. Tests found the dispersion model calculated 77 percent of a herd’s gas.

Fastcast: Hot, muggy.

Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm winds becoming southwesterly 5 mph to 10 mph. Tonight: Mostly clear, low about 72. Southwesterly winds 5 mph.