Analysis of greenhouse gas emissions using the life cycle inventory development 1993-2008

Greenhouse gases (GHG) of particular interest due to their relatively large contribution to climate change are CO2 (Carbon dioxide), N2O (Nitrous oxide), and CH4 (Methane). Globally, it is estimated that agriculture contributes 10% of total anthropogenic GHG emissions (IPCC 2007), and is the largest emitter of N2O and the second greatest contributor of CH4 (EIA 2007). In the United States, 6% of all GHG emissions are due to agriculture, however this calculation is based solely on the emissions occurring in agricultural fields and in animal production facilities, but does not include emissions that occur due to the manufacture and transport of agricultural inputs (U.S. EPA, 2010). Changes in agricultural management could lead to reduction in GHG emissions, and have the potential to mitigate climate change through mechanisms such as carbon sequestration (Johnson et al., 2007).

Authors: J. Posner and J. Hedtcke, W. Osterholz, R. Gaillard, and R. Cox