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UK researchers raise alarm that humans are contributing to 'global warming' — by breathing
Photo by Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images

UK researchers raise alarm that humans are contributing to 'global warming' — by breathing

Climate alarmists prone to hyperventilating over the weather might be a part of the supposed problem they otherwise seek to remedy with statist interventions, unreliable energy alternatives, and a healthy diet of bugs, according to a new government-funded study out of Britain.

Scientists at the U.K. Center for Ecology and Hydrology have raised the alarm that human breathing is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, urging "caution in the assumption that emissions from humans are negligible."

While their conclusion might ultimately be seized upon by depopulationists, it appears the researchers may have instead been seeking an argument for a change in diet.

The peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the Public Library of Science's journal PLOS One investigated greenhouse gas emissions of methane and nitrous oxide in human breath, which allegedly "contribute to global warming."

The study gave away the plot early on, taking up the potential impact of food choices on gastric exhaust.

The researchers, led by Nicholas Cowan, indicated the factors that affect the human emissions of these gases are not well understood, suggesting further that "the impacts of an aging population and shifting diets is still relatively uncertain."

"Converting from high meat and protein content diets to higher fibre vegetarian options to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases from meat production potentially results in higher production of gases in the human gut, and an element of pollution swapping could occur," they wrote, likely to vegetarian climate alarmists' dismay.

Despite their interest in the link between diet and emissions, the researchers indicated they could not establish any trends or correlation on the basis of 328 breath samples collected from 104 human test subjects whose age, sex, dietary preference, and smoking habits were recorded.

In the way of conclusions, they did establish that women were slightly more orally methanic than their male counterparts and that older test subjects were gassier than their younger peers.

Methane was found in the breath of 31% of the test subjects, identified as "methane producers" or MPs. Methane production was higher in the older age cohorts. Whereas 40% of those in the 30 and older group were classified as MPs, only 25% of those under 30 were similarly classed methane producers. Women were found more likely (38%) to be MPs than men (25%).

The researchers contextualized their findings with a seeming international hierarchy of breathy emitters, noting that the "highest proportion of MPs was found in African populations with up to 84%. Proportions of MPs in Western populations vary from 25% to 62%, while in Asian populations (such as Japanese) it can be as low as 15%."

Despite their subjects' exhaust, the researchers conceded that emissions of methane and nitrous oxide "account for only 0.05% and 0.1% of the total emissions in the UK national greenhouse gas inventories, respectively."

Cowan clarified these percentages do not pertain to national emissions on the whole, but rather to these specific gases — meaning they are even more negligible in the grand scheme, reported the Daily Mail.

Apparently keen to shore up their concern in the face of these tiny numbers, the researchers stressed that they did not factor farts into their analysis, noting, "We represent only the lowest possible emission from humans, and the true value of our own bodily emissions are likely significantly higher as a species."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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