Conclusions

Estimating and mitigating N2O emissions from livestock agriculture continues to challenge researchers. Recent advances in measurement techniques and procedures have made significant improvements in the estimation of N2O emissions. This has enhanced both the refinement of accounting and modelling approaches and the development of effective mitigation technologies, which need to continue to go hand in hand to ensure that the effect of new mitigation technologies can be accounted for in national inventories. Mitigation research on the N2O reduction potential of soil/management interventions is generally further advanced than that of animal and feed-based intervention technologies. However, the potential of these latter interventions to reduce urinary N excretion provides a good indication of their efficacy as an N2O abatement strategy. Of the currently available technologies, nitrification inhibitors, managing animal diets and fertilizer management show the best potential for reducing emissions in the short term. However, the growing world population will require a continued growth of livestock production and reducing global N2O emissions will not only depend on the development of new N2O abatement technologies, but also on policy decisions and consumer dietary changes. A move to policies that reward low-greenhouse-gas-intensity food production and a global transition to a low-meat diet could have a pronounced impact on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

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