Type: Chapter

Measuring and quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities


Mohammad Ibrahim Khalil

University College Dublin & Prudence College Dublin/GSustain

Syed Faiz-ul Islam

University College Dublin

Macdara ONeill

University College Dublin & Teagasc

Bruce Osborne

University College Dublin

Publication date:

27 April 2020

ID: 9781786767424

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The accurate assessment of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) for accounting and mitigation options is still a key concern. An extensive body of data is available, but limitations of the different measuring approaches have often been ignored. Despite some constraints, chamber-based approaches have dominated annual assessments of GHGs to provide information on spatial and temporal variations. The Eddy Covariance (EC) technique has become the approach of choice and the basis of international monitoring networks. It has restricted applicability due to footprint constraints, poor replicability, complexity and high cost, meriting new approaches for replacement or complement to. For enteric CH4 emissions from livestock systems, respiratory chamber, tracer or GreenfeedTM techniques, having limitations for confined animals and requiring significant technical expertise, can be used. An overview of other livestock-associated approaches is given in this chapter. This argues for more investment in alternative methods for routine on-farm measurements and the identification of mitigation options.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Greenhouse gas measurement techniques for arable farming
3 Chamber techniques for measuring emissions from arable farming: design and features
4 Chamber techniques for measuring emissions from arable farming: deployment and sampling techniques
5 Micrometeorological techniques for measuring emissions from arable farming: the eddy covariance (EC) method
6 Other techniques for measuring emissions from arable farming
7 Measuring emissions from livestock farms
8 Greenhouse gas measurement techniques at the herd scale
9 Measuring emissions on mixed farms
10 Alternative greenhouse gas measurement techniques
11 Comparison of different methods and future challenges
12 Conclusions
13 Acknowledgements
14 Where to look for further information
15 References