Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Agricultural production results in three greenhouse gas emissions of consequence. Nitrous oxide emissions come mainly from nitrogen applied to agricultural soils. Methane emissions come mostly from the digestive processes of ruminant animals, manure management and rice cultivation. Net carbon dioxide fluxes come mainly from fossil fuel use, production of fertilizers and other agro-chemicals, and soil management. Depending on whether only direct emissions are included, or whether indirect emissions from land use change and other sources are also counted, agriculture is credited for between 6 and 35% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Improved management and technology can help dramatically reduce GHG emissions from agriculture.
Featured Greenhouse Gas Emissions Publications
Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 27, 2014. The second of a two-part webinar series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems.
This is the focus of our current research. How do different organic vegetable production systems affect N2O emissions, and how do other outcomes of those systems affect their potential for adoption?
- Systems include full tillage with high-carbon amendment (compost), full tillage with low carbon amendment (broiler litter), pasture-vegetable rotation, and reduced tillage cover crop mulch.
- Measurements include N2O and CO2 emissions, soil N, microbial ecology focused on denitrification organisms, crop yield, and soil quality. Measurements are focused on key times during the season, including amendment application and tillage, irrigation, and freeze-thaw.
Intended audience is other researchers, and interested extension faculty and farmers.
Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 25, 2014. The first of a two-part webinar series on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Soil Quality in Long-term Integrated and Transitional Reduced Tillage Organic Systems.
Topics for this webinar include:
- Source and properties of N2O as a greenhouse gas, its relative contribution to global
- warming, and the role of agriculture in N2O emissions
- Review of the nitrogen cycle and the production of N2O
- The relationship between organic practices and N2O production
- How we measure N2O emissions
Intended audience is extension faculty and farmers who want a big picture perspective on why we’re interested in nitrous oxide emissions.
CSANR webpage. Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a process in which organic matter is converted into methane by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. Under typical dairy farm conditions manure is stored in open ponds and applied to fields, where decomposition often occurs under anaerobic conditions. This leads to the natural, open-air production of methane, a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the warming value of carbon dioxide. By enclosing, controlling and accelerating this natural anaerobic conversion process, not only can the methane be contained, but it can be converted to renewable energy, providing two mechanisms for carbon sequestration and global warming reduction – methane capture/conversion and fossil-fuel energy offset.
May 2013. This video describes how researchers at WSU monitor greenhouse gas exchanges in cereal-based cropping systems using the eddy covariance flux tower. Includes description of flux tower components. This work is part of the REACCH PNA research project.
May 2013. CSANR produced a 7.5 minute video showing how state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems can offer multiple benefits to society.
Yorgey, G. 2012. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series available here http://csanr.wsu.edu/webinars/pnw-ag-and-climate-change/ .
Adam, J.C., Rajagopalan, K., Stockle, C.O., Kruger, C.E., Brady, M.P., Barber, M.E., Chinnayakanahalli, K.J., Yorgey, G.G., Nelson, R.L., Dinesh, S., Malek, K., Yoder, J., Chung, S., Vaughan, J.K., Leung, F., Lamb, B.K., Evans, R.D., Harrison, J., Stephens, J., Guenther, A., Kalyanaraman, A., Leung, L.R., Liu, M., Tague, C., Perleberg, A.B., Chen, Y., Norton, T.M., Jiang, X., & Zhu, J. (2012). BioEarth: A regional-scale earth system model to inform land and water management decisions. ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, OH.22 October 2012. The poster can be downloaded via link.
Stöckle, C., S. Higgins, A. Kemanian, R. Nelson, D. Huggins, J. Marcos, and H. Collins. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 2012 67(5):365-377; doi:10.2489/jswc.67.5.365.
Private forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere face the same challenges as public land managers with regard to changing forest conditions. However, little is known regarding the understanding family forest landowners have about climate change and the potential impacts on how they manage their forests. Consequently, the degree to which private landowners are prepared to respond effectively is unknown. To make sure new research and extension programming related to climate change and western forests is as useful as possible for family forest owners, researchers at three universities conducted a needs assessment in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to determine family forest owners’ perceptions, understanding, and educational needs regarding the impact of climate change on their forests. The Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Idaho reports are linked here, as well as an executive summary of the Idaho report.
Western Rural Development Center’s Rural Connections Newsletter Climate Change issue June 2011 contains three articles written by CSANR faculty and staff members. View the entire issue here (6 MB), or view the individual articles by clicking the titles here: Anaerobic Digestion in the Pacific Northwest; Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in the Pacific Northwest: Attitudes & Understanding; Climate Change and Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest.
The WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources established the Climate Friendly Farming Project in 2003 with an initial grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. This report represents the culmination of research and assessment of the potential for improved management and technology deployment to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the Pacific Northwest.
Additional Greenhouse Gas Emissions Publications
Weddell, B., L. Carpenter-Boggs, and S. Higgins. June 2012. FS069E. Washington State University researchers have taken a departure from the regionally focused, applied-science extension publication to write a fact sheet on the science, debate and challenges of global climate change.
A narrated Extension PowerPoint on climate science and climate change. The presentation was prepared by Craig Cogger at WSU Puyallup and covers the basics of climate science, evidence of climate change, projections of future climate change, and mitigation strategies. The presentation consists of 10 parts, each about five minutes long, so that it can be viewed in short sittings.
G. Wang, S. Chen, C. Frear. Geoderma. Volume 170, 15 January 2012, Pages 295–304.
We hear about climate change from the media, but the information can be confusing and politically charged. WSU soil scientist Craig Cogger presented a two-part webinar series to cut through the confusion and understand the science of climate change. View Part 1, What does the science really tell us about past and current climate trends? HERE. View Part 2, Climate models, skepticism, and our response to climate disruption HERE.
WSU scientists have conducted extensive research on Anaerobic Digestion (AD) as a technology for recovery of methane (energy), stable carbon, and nutrients from organic wastes such as manure, food processing wastes and the organic fraction of municipal solid wastes (OFMSW). Our research has evaluated the technical and economic performance of commercially available systems, developed improved AD reactors, and commercialized WSU patented nutrient recovery technology. This webinar, presented by CSANR director Chad Kruger and CSANR scientist Craig Frear, will provide an update on the latest results from the WSU Climate Friendly Farming Project’s AD research.
Schnepf, C., J. Creighton, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011. Full report available here.
Grotta, A., J. Creighton, C. Schnepf, S. Kantor. 2011.
Creighton, J., C. Schnepf, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011.
Schnepf, C., J. Creighton, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011. Executive summary available here.
Kantor, S., J. Creighton, C. Schnepf, A. Grotta. 2011.
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