Mitigation Options for Agriculture

What agriculture can do to mitigate GHG emissions has been estimated by Cole et al. (1997), whose estimates of potential reduction of radiative forcing by the agricultural sector range from 1150 to 3300 MMTCE year-1. Of the total potential global reduction in GHG emissions, approximately 32% could result from reduction in CO2 emissions, 42% of the C offsets from biofuel production on 15% of the existing croplands, 16% from reduced CH4 emissions and 10% from reduced emissions of N2O.

Agriculture can contribute to mitigation of climatic change by adopting practices that promote stashing CO2 as C in soil, crop biomass and trees, and by displacing the use of fossil fuels required for tillage, chemical manufacture equipment manufacture, and grain handling operations (Cole et al, 1996; Paustian et al, 1998). For the farm sector, the GHG mitigation potential through reduced fuel consumption is relatively small when compared with the rest of society; however, further reductions can be achieved. By combining appropriate land with best management practices to increase US crop production, Lal et al. (1998) suggest a soil C sequestration potential of 126 MMTCE year-1. Much of the potential C sequestration (43% of US potential) comes from conservation tillage and crop residue management. Other strategies include eliminating fallow by using cover crops, improved irrigation scheduling, solar drying of crops, improved soil fertility, improved manure management, and producing more food using less land. Optimizing

N fertilizer efficiency, achieving higher yield per unit land area and using conservation tillage hold the most promise for indirectly mitigating N2O and CO2 emissions. Mitigation of CH4 emissions from agriculture will require improved diets and rations for animals, aerobic conditions in manure management and improved rice production. Practices that will have the most impact on GHGs from rice production are water and carbon management, soil and variety selection, fertilizer type and amount, and soil preparation. Global understanding of these critical management practices will lead to enhanced soil and plant management and the development of new technologies that result in increased food production efficiency with minimum impact on environmental quality and GHGs. Acceptance of mitigation options will depend on the extent to which sustainable agricultural production can be achieved and the combined social, economic and environmental benefits.

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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