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Special Issue Environmental Research Letters: Improving Quantification of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

Published on
February 14, 2013

Martin Herold co-edited the special issue of Environmental Research Letters with a focus on the Improving Quantification of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.

A new focus issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters explores the current state and near-term potential for improved quantification of agricultural greenhouse gases. Together the articles in this issue provide a vision for an improved system for quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in agriculture, with special attention to the needs of smallholder agriculture in developing countries. 

The world’s population is growing rapidly: an estimated eight billion people by 2030, nine billion by 2050. Feeding the world sustainably requires balancing a growing population’s food and nutritional needs while limiting the greenhouse gases released by agriculture—a growing contributor to climate change. We cannot make informed decisions to achieve this balance without accurate data on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions at the local, national and international level.

Because developing countries must increasingly identify and report emissions to access climate financing incentives or carbon markets, an inability to produce accurate and consistent data eliminates potential revenue for countries that need it most.  At the national level, policies to reduce emissions and expand sustainable agriculture practices will benefit if countries have a way to monitor them.

In the perspectives Lydia Olander, Eva Wollenberg, Francesco Tubiello and Martin Herold highlight the topic on Advancing agricultural greenhouse gas quantification.