Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions

Dave S. Reay, Eric A. Davidson, Keith A. Smith, Pete Smith, Jerry M. Melillo, Frank Dentener, Paul J. Crutzen

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

312 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is an important anthropogenic greenhouse gas and agriculture represents its largest source. It is at the heart of debates over the efficacy of biofuels, the climate-forcing impact of population growth, and the extent to which mitigation of non-CO2 emissions can help avoid dangerous climate change. Here we examine some of the major debates surrounding estimation of agricultural N2O sources, and the challenges of projecting and mitigating emissions in coming decades. We find that current flux estimates using either top-down or bottom-up methods are reasonably consistent at the global scale, but that a dearth of direct measurements in some areas makes national and sub-national estimates highly uncertain. We also highlight key uncertainties in projected emissions and demonstrate the potential for dietary choice and supply-chain mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-416
Number of pages7
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume2
Issue number6
Early online date13 May 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • atmospheric science
  • biogeochemistry and geochemistry
  • biology
  • ecology
  • mitigation

Cite this

Reay, D. S., Davidson, E. A., Smith, K. A., Smith, P., Melillo, J. M., Dentener, F., & Crutzen, P. J. (2012). Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. Nature Climate Change, 2(6), 410-416. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE1458

Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. / Reay, Dave S.; Davidson, Eric A.; Smith, Keith A.; Smith, Pete; Melillo, Jerry M.; Dentener, Frank; Crutzen, Paul J.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, No. 6, 06.2012, p. 410-416.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Reay, DS, Davidson, EA, Smith, KA, Smith, P, Melillo, JM, Dentener, F & Crutzen, PJ 2012, 'Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions', Nature Climate Change, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 410-416. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE1458
Reay DS, Davidson EA, Smith KA, Smith P, Melillo JM, Dentener F et al. Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. Nature Climate Change. 2012 Jun;2(6):410-416. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE1458
Reay, Dave S. ; Davidson, Eric A. ; Smith, Keith A. ; Smith, Pete ; Melillo, Jerry M. ; Dentener, Frank ; Crutzen, Paul J. / Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. In: Nature Climate Change. 2012 ; Vol. 2, No. 6. pp. 410-416.
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