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Greenhouse Gases

Crichton dung in chambersGreenhouse gase emissions from agriculture represent approximately 8% of UK anthropogenic emissions, mainly as nitrous oxide and methane.

Under its Climate Change Act of 2008, the UK Government is committed to ambitious targets for reducing national emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, with all significant industrial sources coming under scrutiny.  Measurement of emissions is essential in order to understand our current level of emissions and in order to record future emission reductions.

Livestock, agricultural soils and nutrient application can all give rise to greenhouse gas emissions, but it can be difficult to say exactly how much comes from each source at the individual farm level.

SRUC are carrying out a range of research work to help to assess greenhouse gas losses from agricultural activities including:

  • assessing the role of genetics in dairy cow nutrition in terms of methane production
  • modelling greenhouse gas emissions from grassland at a landscape scale
  • using chamber-based techniques to measure emissions of greenhouse gases produced by agricultural soils

Prof Bob Rees

Professor of Agriculture & Climate Change / Head of Carbon Management Centre

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4365

E-mail: bob.rees@sruc.ac.uk