Agriculture's role in greenhouse gas emissions and capture

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Madison, WI: Greenhouse Gas Working Group Rep. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA

This working paper addresses changes in climate and how the rising global temperature can be partially attributed to an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Six percent of all US GHG emissions, including CO2, CH4, and N2O, are released from agricultural activities. This paper offers solutions to sequester carbon and reduce the amount of GHGs that are emitted by upgrading agricultural systems and switching to more sustainable practices. A full life cycle analysis and accounting of GHG emission sources and sinks is necessary to fully understand their effect. Research gaps need to be addressed and policies that support conservation agriculture need to be enacted and enforced. By adopting conservation agriculture strategies, the US can increase soil carbon, reduce GHG emissions, and help mitigate climate change.

Carbon sequestration, Conservation agriculture, Environmental impacts, Soil quality, Climate control, Conservation tillage, Soil organic matter, Greenhouse gases, Emissions, Climate change, Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane, Nitrous oxide, Mitigation, Research gaps, Ruminant digestion, Biofuels, Life cycle analysis, Field Scale Governance
Greenhouse Gas Working Group Report, August 2010