Paris climate agreement targets threatened by up-trending farming and landscape disruption

Researchers at UCI’s Department of Earth Systems Science have conducted the most intensive list yet of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and other land use practices. They found many opportunities for mitigation around the world, but also found that “business as usual” could jeopardize the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. Credit: Steven Davis / UCI

One of the actions after President Joe Biden’s first inauguration was to realize the United States with the Paris Climate Agreement, but a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Irvine demonstrated that increasing emissions from human land use Will endanger the goals of the agreement. Without substantial changes in agricultural practices.

Today in a letter published in NatureThe team presented the most in-depth list for land use contributions for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (including nitrous oxide and methane) from 1961 to 2017, taking into account emissions from agricultural production activities and modifications of the natural landscape.

“We estimated and accounted for global land-use emissions between 229 countries and regions and 169 agricultural products,” lead author Chopeng Hong, UCI postdoctoral scholar in Earth System Sciences. “We looked at the processes responsible for high or low emissions, and particularly the trends in net CO2 Excreted by changes in land use, such as converting forest land to agriculture. “

Researchers found that poor countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa experienced the most pronounced upsurge in these “land-use change” emissions.

According to the study, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East produced fewer greenhouse gases as a result of land-use change, but agricultural emissions of the regions were growing strongly as areas of production to keep up with population expansion . More affluent North America, Europe, and Oceania showed negative land-use change emissions, but still substantial agricultural-origin pollution.

“While the situation is grim in low-income countries, mitigation opportunities in these locations are large and clear,” said senior author Steve Davis, an associate professor of earth systems science. “Improving yields on already cultivated land can be avoided by clearing more carbon-dense forests for soybean, rice, corn and palm oil cultivation, thereby reducing land use emissions in these countries Has decreased significantly. “

The authors suggest that nations in emerging and developed markets can also reduce agriculture’s emissions intensity by adopting more efficient tiling and harvesting methods, by better soil and livestock waste management, and by reducing food waste.

Also, dietary changes may help, according to the study, which states that while red meat supplies about 1 percent of calories globally, it accounts for up to a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Europe has the lowest land-use emissions, 0.5 tons per capita per year, researchers noted, but the figure is much higher almost everywhere, and as the planet’s population continues to grow, farmers and policymakers meet and Best practices will need to be greater than current.

The paper sheds light on some promising technological solutions, such as new methods of rice farming that create less methane and dietary supplements for cattle that reduce their harmful emissions by up to 95 percent.

“Feeding the planet can always lead to substantial greenhouse gas emissions,” said Davis, a member of UCI’s Solutions Executive Board, the scale initiative that responds to the planet’s most pressing climate and environmental problems. “Even though we may have reduced emissions at European levels worldwide with expected population growth, we can still see land use emissions of more than 5 gigatons per year in 2100, an amount at odds with ambitious international climate targets when Unless offset by a negative. Emission. “

The project was funded by the National Science Foundation, the German Research Foundation, and the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, which included researchers from the University of California, San Diego; Colorado State University; Stanford University; And Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

The study has seen how climate change affects land acquisition

more information:
Chopeng Hong et al., Global and regional drivers of land use emissions, 1961–2017 Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-020-03138-y

University of California, Irvine

Citation: Up-trending farming and landscape disruptions led to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement (2021, 27 January) on 29 January 2021 Retrieved from html

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