Methane Emission Characteristics of Naturally Ventilated Cattle Buildings
The mandate to limit global temperature rise calls for a reliable quantification of gaseous pollutant emissions as a basis for effective mitigation. Methane emissions from ruminant fermentation are of particular relevance in the context of greenhouse gas mitigation. The emission dynamics are so far insufficiently understood. We analyzed hourly methane emission data collected during contrasting seasons from two naturally ventilated dairy cattle buildings with concrete floor and performed a
... d performed a second order polynomial regression. We found a parabolic temperature dependence of the methane emissions irrespective of the measurement site and setup. The position of the parabola vertex varied when considering different hours of the day. The circadian rhythm of methane emissions was represented by the pattern of the fitted values of the constant term of the polynomial and could be well explained by feeding management and air flow conditions. We found barn specific emission minima at ambient temperatures around 10 °C to 15 °C. As this identified temperature optimum coincides with the welfare temperature of dairy cows, we concluded that temperature regulation of dairy cow buildings with concrete floor should be considered and further investigated as an emission mitigation measure. Our results further indicated that empirical modeling of methane emissions from the considered type of buildings with a second order polynomial for the independent variable air temperature can increase the accuracy of predicted long-term emission values for regions with pronounced seasonal temperature fluctuations.