Overview of nonCO2 emission estimation

Non-CO2 emissions are derived from a variety of sources, including emissions from soils, livestock and manure, and from combustion of biomass, dead wood and litter. In contrast to the way CO2 emissions are estimated from biomass stock changes, the estimate of non-CO2 greenhouse gases usually involves an emission rate from a source directly to the atmosphere. The rate (Equation 2.6) is generally determined by an emission factor for a specific gas (e.g., CH4, N2O) and source category and an area (e.g., for soil or area burnt), population (e.g., for livestock) or mass (e.g., for biomass or manure) that defines the emission source.

Equation 2.6 Non-CO2 emissions to the atmosphere


Emission = non-CO2 emissions, tonnes of the non-CO2 gas

A = activity data relating to the emission source (can be area, animal numbers or mass unit, depending on the source type)

EF = emission factor for a specific gas and source category, tonnes per unit of A

Many of the emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are either associated with a specific land use (e.g., CH4 emissions from rice) or are typically estimated from national-level aggregate data (e.g., CH4 emissions from livestock and N2O emissions from managed soils). Where an emission source is associated with a single land use, the methodology for that emission is described in the chapter for that specific land-use category (e.g., methane from rice in Chapter 5 on Cropland). Emissions that are generally based on aggregated data are dealt with in separate chapters (e.g., Chapter 10 on livestock-related emissions, and Chapter 11 on N2O emissions from managed soils and CO2 emissions from liming and urea applications). This chapter describes only methods to estimate non-CO2 (and CO2) emissions from biomass combustion, which can occur in several different land-use categories.

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