Livestock produce a variety of harmful greenhouse gas emissions, which all accumulate in the atmosphere and warm the climate. The greatest producer of greenhouse gases in beef production is the methane produced by cows in the digestive process. This alone accounts for over 60% of total emissions from beef production. 
Cattle emit methane through their waste, belching, and farting. The methane is made by the microbes in cows’ digestive tracts that break down and ferment their food. Methane is about 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere. Methane also diffuses into the air quicker than carbon dioxide, which leads to a quicker warming effect on the world’s climate than other greenhouse gases. 
Ammonia is another harmful emission that comes from cattle waste. Livestock produce about two-thirds of the ammonia that is released into the atmosphere from human activity. Ammonia is a toxin to aquatic animal life, harms fertile soil, and contributes to bringing the pollutants that cause acid rain into our atmosphere.
Nitrous oxide is also a greenhouse gas that livestock naturally produce. Nitrous oxide is released from livestock manure and is produced at a higher rate if the level of protein in the animal’s diet exceeds their nutritional requirements, which happens frequently in factory farming, as livestock is given an excess of protein to gain body mass as efficiently as possible.
Agriculture, especially fertilizer and animal waste, is the largest source of nitrous oxide production. Agriculture alone accounts for about three quarters of all U.S. nitrous oxide emissions. Though nitrous oxide is a relatively small percentage of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, it has about 300 times the climate warming power of carbon dioxide. Additionally, nitrous oxide converts oxygen into nitrogen oxides in the stratosphere. These nitrogen oxides can damage the ozone layer, which is our primary protection against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.