Illustration from Mark Hallett Paleoart/Photo Researchers (NationalGeographic.com)
Somewhere out there a scientist is measuring lizard emissions and, while it may seem like a complete waste of resources to some people, the findings make for an interesting comparison for current and past environmental conditions and the politics and culture that surround it.
National Geographic recently released an article entitled "Dinosaurs' Gaseous Emissions Warmed Earth?" (Published May 7 by Charles Choi on NationalGeographic.com) in which it describes and critiques the findings of a study done by Dr. Dave Wilkinson of Liverpool John Moores University. The jist of the article is if modern day lizards and mammals give off 50-100 million metric tons of methane gas annually then 20-ton dinosaurs probably gave off somewhere close to the total amount of current natural as well as man-made daily emissions, which is around 520 million metric tons annually. And, while the comments left by readers of the article indicate a bit of debate and skepticism, I believe the results are simply a reflection on how much we know and don't know about the earth and its geological and environmental history.
Really, this is just more proof that warming and cooling are all a part of the natural cycle of things. "...fossil findings make it clear that sauropods lived in a much warmer world than we do. People sometimes describe it as a super-greenhouse." Haha, yeah, a super-greenhouse of dino farts!