Which greenhouse gases are produced in agriculture

01.02.2021 14:19

Greenhouse gases from agriculture

Lisa Dittrich Press, communication and marketing
Justus-Liebig university of Giessen

Institute of Plant Ecology publishes a comprehensive handbook on measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of the FAO / IAEA Division of the United Nations

The greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane, which are largely produced in agriculture, play a decisive role in climate change. According to forecasts, the releases could increase by up to 60 percent in the coming years if no countermeasures are taken. It is therefore important to have precise knowledge of the sources, processes, conditions of formation and quantities of greenhouse gases released from agriculture. Scientists from the DFG research group DASIM (Denitrification in Agricultural Soils: Integrated control and Modeling at various scales) based at the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) have worked with an international research team and with the support of the Hessian State Office for Nature Conservation, Environment and Geology both methods of measurement and calculation as well as possibilities of reduction compiled in a new manual.

"We are convinced that the book will be used by many international scientists who do research in the field of greenhouse gas emissions, but also by students," says Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller, Director of the Institute for Plant Ecology at JLU and spokesman for the DASIM research group. "This current overview of the complex topic was created on behalf of the FAO / IAEA Division of the United Nations, which is responsible both for the development of standards for measuring stable isotopes and for the development of methods for developing sustainable agriculture worldwide."

In Germany, ruminants and agricultural, fertilized soils are among the major sources of greenhouse gases. In other parts of the world it is rice cultivation, among other things, that is contributing to the global increase in climate-damaging gases and thus to climate change. According to the Federal Environment Agency, the agricultural sector causes 79 percent of nitrous oxide and 62 percent of methane releases in Germany. If you convert this amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gases into carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents, agriculture causes 63.6 million tons of CO2 per year in Germany and more than 10 billion tons of CO2 per year worldwide. For comparison: a beech tree stores around one ton of CO2 in 50 years.

In recent years and decades, numerous methods have been developed around the world to identify sources and formation processes of greenhouse gases and to measure gas flows in various areas of agriculture. These methods are described in detail and comprehensibly in the book "Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques" and include both current state-of-the-art techniques (e.g. isotope analyzes) and simple ones without the most modern technical equipment applicable instructions.

Scientific contact:

Prof. Dr. Christoph Müller, Institute for Plant Ecology
Phone: 0641 99-35301
Email: [email protected]

Original publication:

Zaman, Mohammad; Heng, Lee; Müller, Christoph: "Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques. Applications of Nuclear Techniques for GHGs ", Springer, 2021.
Download free of charge from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55396-8

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