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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Greenhouse Gas Emissions & Mitigation

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 Publications

Farmers’ Trust in Sources of Production and Climate Information and Their Use of Technology

Borrelli, K. A., G. E. Roesch-McNally, J. D. Wulfhorst, S. D. Eigenbrode, G. G. Yorgey, C. E. Kruger, L. L. Houston, L. A. Bernacchi, R. L. Mahler. 2018. Journal of Extension.

Comparison of Greenhouse Gas Offset Quantification Protocols for Nitrogen Management in Dryland Wheat Cropping Systems of the Pacific Northwest

TT Brown, CM Lee, CE Kruger, JP Reganold, DR Huggins. 2017. Frontiers in Environmental Science 5, 72.

Advances in Dryland Farming in the Inland Pacific Northwest

Georgine Yorgey and Chad Kruger, Eds. 2017. Washington State University Extension. Pullman, WA.

Precision Nitrogen Application: Eric Odberg Case Study

Yorgey, G., S. Kantor, K. Painter, H. Davis, and L. Bernacchi. 2014. Video and text farmer case study. Eric Odberg is a fourth generation farmer who practices no-till management and was an early adopter of variable rate nitrogen (VRN) application in the dryland production region of the Pacific Northwest.

Nitrogen Management and Climate Change Mitigation in Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems

Yorgey, G. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series.

Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Inland Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems

Yorgey, G. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series.

Nitrogen Cycling and Losses in Agricultural Systems

Borrelli, K. 2014. Recorded webinar. Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series.

Management to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Organic Vegetable Production Systems

Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 27, 2014. The second of a two-part webinar series.

Why the Concern about Nitrous Oxide Emissions?

Cogger, C., A. Fortuna, D. Collins. Feb 25, 2014. The first of a two-part webinar series.

Anaerobic Digestion Webpage

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 … » More …

REACCHPNA Monitoring Greenhouse Gases with the Eddy Covariance Flux Tower (3 min)

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.

Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Pacific Northwest

Yorgey, G. 2012.  Recorded webinar.  Part of Pacific Northwest Agriculture and Climate Change Webinar Series.

BioEarth: A regional-scale earth system model to inform land and water management decisions

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.

Carbon storage and nitrous oxide emissions of cropping systems in eastern Washington: A simulation study

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.

Additional Publications

Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond Waste Management

May 2013. CSANR produced a 7.5 minute video showing how state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion systems can offer multiple benefits to society.

Global Climate Change

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.

Climate Change: what does the science really tell us?

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.

Estimating greenhouse gas emissions from soil following liquid manure applications using a unit response curve method

G. Wang, S. Chen, C. Frear. Geoderma. Volume 170, 15 January 2012, Pages 295–304.

Extracting valuable energy, carbon and nutrient resources from organic waste

Webinar, 2011.

Executive Summary – Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in Idaho

Schnepf, C., J. Creighton, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011.

Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in Idaho

Schnepf, C., J. Creighton, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011.

Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in Oregon

Grotta, A., J. Creighton, C. Schnepf, S. Kantor. 2011.

Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in Washington

Creighton, J., C. Schnepf, A. Grotta, S. Kantor. 2011.

Climate Change and Family Forest Landowners in Alaska

Kantor, S., J. Creighton, C. Schnepf, A. Grotta. 2011.

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