Interpretive Summary: Accuracy of enteric methane emission models for cattle in sub-Saharan Africa: status quo and the way forward
By: Christian A Bateki, Andreas Wilkes, Eva Schlecht
Accurate estimates of enteric methane (CH4) emissions are needed to ascertain the efficacy of mitigation strategies proposed for cattle in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Models used for cattle in SSA were developed using data on metabolic processes measured from cattle in temperate regions which may lead to inaccurate enteric CH4 estimates. Therefore, we assessed the suitability of different enteric CH4 models for estimating the gross energy intake (GEI) of cattle in SSA. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and South African models were identified as tier 2-based methods for estimating enteric CH4 emissions from cattle in SSA. Also, the British and German net energy systems were implemented in the IPCC model to yield two other models. These four models were evaluated using a dataset summarizing feed quality and intake results from 21 studies conducted in SSA. Only the South African model estimated the GEI of dairy cattle with an error of <20% (acceptable cutoff point), while the other three models yielded estimates with the error of >20%. None of the four models estimated GEI for nondairy cattle with an error of <20%. We provide the first estimate of model uncertainty that may be applied to enteric CH4 estimates from cattle in SSA.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.