how agricultural activities contribute to climate change pdf


How agricultural activities contribute to climate change?

Agriculture contributes to climate change At every stage, food provisioning releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Farming in particular releases significant amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gases.

How much does agriculture contribute to climate change?

Emissions and Trends In 2020, greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture economic sector accounted for 11% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have increased by 6% since 1990.

How does agriculture sector contribute to the increase in greenhouse gases?

Agriculture is both a victim of and a contributor to climate change. On the one hand, agricultural activities contribute approximately 30 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly due to the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and animal wastes.

Is agriculture the biggest contributor to climate change?

Agriculture and forestry together are estimated to account for 10.5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, including carbon dioxide emissions associated with agricultural electricity consumption. Globally, carbon dioxide emissions are the largest contributor to climate change.

What is the biggest contribution to climate change?

Globally, the two biggest sectors that contribute to climate change are electricity generation (~25%) and food & land use (~24%). In other words, burning coal, oil, and natural gas to generate electricity is the single largest source of global emissions, but the food & land use sector is nearly tied with it.

How does agriculture contribute to CO2 emissions?

Using estimates from 2005, 2007 and 2008, the researchers found that agricultural production provides the lion’s share of greenhouse-gas emissions from the food system, releasing up to 12,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year — up to 86% of all food-related anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions.

How does climate change affect agriculture essay?

Climate change is affecting agriculture by interfering with the efficiency of crop production. Agriculture is facing droughts, flooding, sea level elevations, natural disasters, and health hazards for employees. All of these exponents lead to crop failure that creates famines and food prices to rise.

Why agriculture is bad for the environment?

Agricultural livestock are responsible for a large proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, most notably methane. In addition, overgrazing is a major problem regarding environmental sustainability. In some places, stretches of forage land are consumed so extensively that grasses are unable to regenerate.



Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Anthropogenic climate change is caused by multiple climate pollutants, with CO2, CH4, and N2O the three largest individual contributors to global warming (Myhre et al., 2013). Agriculture and food production is associated with all three of these gases, but direct agricultural emissions are unusual in being dominated by CH4 and N2O. The global food …

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Shorter-Lived Greenhouse Gases

  • The focus on reducing (to net zero) our CO2 emissions is well justified not just because it is the major anthropogenic climate forcer but also because it acts cumulatively. Shorter-lived greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide will, by definition, automatically be removed from the atmosphere over a shorter timeframe, so emissions will not continue to act cumulatively over th…

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Co2-Equivalent Emissions

  • The principles outlined above are well-recognized in the climate science literature and physically uncontested. Misunderstandings or oversimplifications are not because of debate over these dynamics, but arise from our communication of different emissions as “CO2-equivalents.” Non-CO2 gases are conventionally reported as CO2-equivalent emissions (“CO2-e”) using the 100-yea…

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Communicating Emissions

  • The significant limitations of reporting only GWP100 CO2e lead us to suggest changes in how to communicate emissions and related concepts. The phrase “carbon emissions” is often used to refer either to carbon dioxide emissions or as shorthand for “all greenhouse gas emissions” (this second usage likely arising from either the dominance of CO2 as a contributor to global warmin…

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Role of Agricultural Emission Reductions in Climate Change Mitigation

  • Global Emission Reductions
    Decreasing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is important—net food system CO2 emissions must be eliminated, as with all other CO2 emissions, and reducing agricultural methane and N2O, while distinct from CO2, is climatically beneficial and must be encouraged. Atmospheric concen…
  • Sectoral Roles
    Even if we did have universally agreed global emission requirements, there remain political questions regarding how this should be achieved across different sectors (i.e., agriculture vs. energy) and nations, and we suggest the distinct physical impacts of different gases should be k…

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  • The non-CO2 gases methane and nitrous oxide comprise a uniquely large share of agricultural emissions. We therefore need to appreciate how emissions of these gases contribute to temperature change in order to understand the role of agriculture in global warming, and what agricultural emission reductions can achieve. There is no satisfactory means by which a single p…

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Author Contributions

  • All authors listed have made a substantial, direct and intellectual contribution to the work, and approved it for publication.

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  • JL and RP acknowledge funding from the Wellcome Trust, Our Planet Our Health (Livestock, Environment and People—LEAP), Award No. 205212/Z/16/Z.

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Conflict of Interest

  • The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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  • Agriculture is the growing of plants (crops) and animals (livestock) for food and other purposes. In 2007, lands used for crop growing and animal grazing took up 40–50% of Earth’s land surface, a 10% increase since 1961. Agriculture contributes to global climate change by releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), the t…

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Historical Background and Scientific Foundations

  • For most of the human race’s existence, it did not practice agriculture. For many hundreds of thousands of years, humans and their near-human ancestors practiced various forms of hunting and gathering, finding edible plants and animals in the environment rather than raising them. The first known tools, made about 2.5 million years ago, were food processors, chipped stones devis…

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Impacts and Issues

  • Is Meat the Number One Cause of Global Warming?
    In 2007, vegan and animal-rights organizations ran ads in the U.S. media stating that emissions from meat-raising contribute more to global warmingthan cars do. For example, an ad by the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) read: “Too Chicken to Go Vegetarian? …
  • Mitigation of Agricultural Emissions
    Altered agricultural practices can reduce agriculture’s contribution to global warming. More efficient delivery of nitrogen to crops would reduce N2O emissions and other ecological harms; livestock management for more efficient digestion of feeds would save money and reduce CH4…

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Primary Source Connection

  • Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are major greenhouse gases. Agriculture is a common, and often overlooked, contributor of methane and nitrous oxide. Both methane and nitrous oxide are produced naturally by livestock and soil management. Some human-controlled agricultural management techniques, however, increase methane and nitrous oxide production. This article …

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  • Books
    Parry, M. L., et al, eds. Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. New York: Cambridge UniversityPress, 2007.
  • Periodicals
    Asner, Gregory P. “Grazing Systems, Ecosystem Responses, and Global Change.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources29 (2004): 261–299. Deutsch, Claudia H. “Trying to Connect the Dinner Plate to Climate Change.” The New York Times(August 29, 2007). Izaurralde, R. César, et …

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