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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERACTIONS BETWEEN LAND USE, LAND MGMT, AND CLIMATE CHANGE: RELATIONS TO CARBON AND NITROGEN CYCLING, TRACE GASES AND AGROECOSYSTEMS

Location: Soil Plant Nutrient Research (SPNR)

Title: U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2005

Authors
item Del Grosso, Stephen
item Ogle, S -
item Wirth, J -
item Skiles, S -

Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: May 2, 2008
Publication Date: August 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://www.usda.gov/oce/global_change/AFGGInventory1990_2005.htm
Citation: Del Grosso, S.J., Ogle, S., Wirth, J., Skiles, S. 2008. U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2005. United States Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 1921.

Interpretive Summary: Emissions of the three most important long-lived greenhouse gases (GHG) have increased measurably over the past two centuries. Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by approximately 35%, 155%, and 18%, respectively, since 1750. In the U.S., livestock, poultry, and crop production accounted for close to 7% of total GHG emissions in 2005. The primary agricultural sources are nitrous oxide emissions from cropped and grazed soils, methane emissions from enteric fermentation and methane emissions from managed livestock waste. These emissions are partially offset from carbon sequestration in cropped and grazed soils. Forests in the United States are a large GHG sink, which offset total U.S. GHG emissions by approximately 11%. In aggregate, the U.S. agricultural sector (including GHG sources for crop, poultry, and livestock production and GHG sinks for forests and wood products) was estimated to be a net GHG sink.

Technical Abstract: Emissions of the three most important long-lived greenhouse gases (GHG) have increased measurably over the past two centuries. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by approximately 35%, 155%, and 18%, respectively, since 1750. In the U.S., agriculture accounted for close to 7% of total GHG emissions (7260 Tg CO2 eq.) in 2005. Livestock, poultry, and crop production contributed a total of 481 Tg CO2 eq. to the atmosphere in 2005. This total includes an offset from agricultural soil carbon sequestration of roughly 32 Tg CO2 eq. The primary agricultural sources are N2O emissions from cropped and grazed soils (263 Tg CO2 eq.), CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation (112 Tg CO2 eq.), and CH4 emissions from managed livestock waste (41 Tg CO2 eq.). Forests in the United States contributed a net reduction in atmospheric GHG of approximately 787 Tg CO2 eq. in 2005, which offset total U.S. GHG emissions by approximately 11%. In aggregate, the U.S. agricultural sector (including GHG sources for crop, poultry, and livestock production and GHG sinks for forests and wood products) was estimated to be a net sink of 306 Tg CO2 eq. in 2005. [GRACENet publication]

Last Modified: 7/27/2014
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