Environmental Modeling & Assessment

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 641–658 | Cite as

The Nexus Between CO2 Emissions and Genetically Modified Crops: a Perspective from Order Theory

  • Nancy Y. QuinteroEmail author
  • Isaac Marcos Cohen


Genetically modified crops (GMCs) and climate change have been two ecological issues intensely debated over the years. The search for global solutions to the effects of climate change on agriculture has led to the proposal of GMCs as a tool to reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices and to improve their efficiency of production. At least 27 countries, all over the world, have cultivated GMCs. The purpose of the present paper is to provide insights about the possible linkages between the cultivated areas and the CO2 emissions in these countries. In addition, the study intends to establish meaningful relationships between attributes related to the particular socio-economic situations and the environmental impacts of GMCs. Some examples are the connection between acreages of GMCs and the status of each country with respect to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, as well as their classification according to the mean income per capita and their CO2 emissions. In order to give the mathematical support to these links, the methodology known as Order Theory was employed. The results show that Paraguay, India, Burkina Faso, Brazil and Pakistan could be the best contributors to the mitigation of the climate change by the reduction of their CO2 emission levels through GMCs.


Formal concept analysis Genetically modified crops Hasse diagram technique Local partial order methods 



One of the authors (N. Y. Q.) wishes to thank for the PhD grant from the Colombian Science, Technology and Innovation Department allowing her to carry out the current work. Likewise, the authors gratefully acknowledge Professor R. Brüggemann for his valuable comments and suggestions for improving this paper.

Author Contributions

There are not laboratory experiments in this study; the authors conceived the idea of searching the relationships existent between type of genetically modified crop, areas covered by these crops in some representative countries, situation of the countries with respect to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Status and their emissions of CO2; they selected Order Theory as the tool for this investigation. The selection of concepts and attributes, as well as the mathematical tools to obtain meaningful results, was performed by the authors. The analysis of Hasse Diagram, average ranks and implications and associations and their significance were carried out by the authors. All the manuscript was written by the authors.


This work was supported by the Colombian Science, Technology and Innovation Department (COLCIENCIAS, 617, 2013).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Química Teórica, CHIMAUniversidad de PamplonaPamplonaColombia
  2. 2.Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana and Universidad Católica de OrienteMedellínColombia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Facultad Regional Buenos Aires, and Centro de Tecnologías QuímicasUniversidad Tecnológica NacionalCABAArgentina

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