Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 24, pp 24488–24499 | Cite as

Existing agricultural ecosystem in China leads to environmental pollution: an econometric approach

  • Lei Hongdou
  • Li ShipingEmail author
  • Li Hao
Research Article


Sustainable agriculture ensures food security and prevents starvation. However, the need to meet the increasing food demands of the growing population has led to poor and unsustainable agricultural practices, which promote environmental degradation. Given the contributions of agricultural ecosystems to environmental pollution, we investigated the impact of the agricultural ecosystem on environmental pollution in China using time series data from 1960 to 2014. We employed several methods for econometric analysis including the unit root test, Johansen test of cointegration, Granger causality test, and vector error correction model. Evidence based on the long-run elasticity indicates that a 1% increase in the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent to nitrous oxide from synthetic fertilizers will increase the emissions of CO2 by 1.52% in the long run. Similarly, a 1% increase in the area of harvested rice paddy, cereal production, biomass of burned crop residues, and agricultural GDP will increase the carbon dioxide emissions by 0.85, 0.63, 0.37, and 0.22%, respectively. The estimated results indicate that there are long-term equilibrium relationships among the selected variables considered for the agricultural ecosystem and carbon dioxide emissions. In particular, we identified bidirectional causal associations between CO2 emissions, biomass of burned crop residues, and cereal production.

Graphical abstract


China agricultural ecosystem CO2 emission Environmental pollution Johansen cointegration analysis Vector error correction model 



The authors extend their sincere thanks to the editors of this journal and the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which helped to significantly improve the manuscript.

Funding information

This survey was sponsored by a major project supported by the National Natural Social Science Foundation of China (No. 17BJY067).


  1. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2016a) The relationship between carbon dioxide and agriculture in Ghana: a comparison of VECM and ARDL model. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:10968–10982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2016b) A review of Ghana’s solar energy potential. Aims Energy 4:675–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2017a) The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem-an econometric approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24:1608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2017b) The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem—an econometric approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2017c) The causal nexus between carbon dioxide emissions and agricultural ecosystem—an econometric approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 24:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Asumadu-Sarkodie S, Owusu PA (2017d) Recent evidence of the relationship between carbon dioxide emissions, energy use, GDP, and population in Ghana: a linear regression approach. Energ Sources Part B: Economics, Planning & Policy 12:495–503.
  7. Asumadusarkodie S, Owusu PA (2016) Feasibility of biomass heating system in Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus. Cogent Engineering 3:1134304.
  8. Awasthi A, Singh N, Mittal S, Gupta PK, Agarwal R (2010) Effects of agriculture crop residue burning on children and young on PFTs in North West India. Sci Total Environ 408:4440–4445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhatia A, Jain N, Pathak H (2013) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from Indian rice paddies, agricultural soils, and crop residue burning. Greenhouse Gases Sci Technol 3:196–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burney JA, Davis SJ, Lobell DB (2010) Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:12052–12057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis SJ, Caldeira K, Matthews HD (2010) Future CO2 emissions and climate change from existing energy infrastructure. Science 329:1330–1333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dikshit A, Birthal PS (2013) Positive environmental externalities of livestock in mixed farming systems of India. Agric Econ Res Rev 78(7):32–49Google Scholar
  13. Dogan, N (2016) Agriculture and environmental Kuznets curves in the case of Turkey: evidence from ARDL and bounds test. Agric Econ 62Google Scholar
  14. Edoja PE, Aye GC, Abu O (2016) The dynamic relationship among CO2 emission, agricultural productivity and food security in ​Nigeria. Cogent Econ Finance 4(1):1204809.
  15. FAO (2017) Food and agriculture organization of the United Nation. Accessed 26 May 2016
  16. Farhani, S., Chaibi, A., Rault, C (2014) A study of CO2 emissions, output, energy consumption, and trade. Working PapersGoogle Scholar
  17. Fitzgerald, G (2010) Future effects of elevated COon wheat production—an overview of FACE research in Victoria, Australia. Cirql Pty LtdGoogle Scholar
  18. Fitzgerald, G., Norton, R., Tausz, M., O’Leary, G., Seneweera, S., Posch, S., Mollah, M., Brand, J., Armstrong, R., Mathers, N. (2010) Future effects of elevated CO2 on wheat production—an overview of FACE research in Victoria, Australia, Food Security from Sustainable Agriculture. 15th Agronomy Conference, 15–18 November 2010, Lincoln, New Zealand. Australian Society of Agronomy, Gosford, NSWGoogle Scholar
  19. Granger CWJ (1969) Granger, C.W.J.: Investigating causal relations by econometric models and cross-spectral methods. Econometrica 37(3):424–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Griggs D, Stafford-Smith M, Gaffney O, Rockström J, Ohman MC, Shyamsundar P, Steffen W, Glaser G, Kanie N, Noble I (2013) Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature 495:305–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jaber JO (2002) Greenhouse gas emissions and barriers to implementation in the Jordanian energy sector. Energy Policy 30:385–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johansen S (1991) Estimation and hypothesis testing of cointegration vectors in Gaussian vector autoregressive models. Econometrica 59:1551–1580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kapusuzoglu A, Ulusoy MK (2015) The interactions between agricultural commodity and oil prices: an empirical analysis. Agr Econ-Czech 61:410–421.
  24. Keith DW (2009) Why capture CO2 from the atmosphere? Science 325:1654–1655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Killebrew, K., Wolff, H (2010) Environmental impacts of agricultural technologies. Agricultural Policy and Statistics Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EPAR Brief No 65.
  26. Kludze H, Deen B, Weersink A, Acker RV, Janovicek K, Laporte AD, Mcdonald I (2013) Estimating sustainable crop residue removal rates and costs based on soil organic matter dynamics and rotational complexity. Biomass Bioenergy 56:607–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kumar A, Nayak A, Mohanty S, Das B (2016) Greenhouse gas emission from direct seeded paddy fields under different soil water potentials in Eastern India. Agric Ecosyst Environ 228:111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kutcher HR, Malhi SS (2010) Residue burning and tillage effects on diseases and yield of barley (Hordeum vulgare) and canola (Brassica napus). Soil Tillage Res 109:153–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lajdova Z, Lajda J, Bielik P (2016) The impact of the biogas industry on agricultural sector in Germany. Agric Econ Czech 62:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Li CS (2000) Modelling trace gas emissions from agricultural ecosystems. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 58:259–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li, H., Li, B., Lu, H (2017) Carbon dioxide emissions, economic growth, and selected types of fossil energy consumption in China: empirical evidence from 1965 to 2015. Sustainability 9Google Scholar
  32. Li Y, Lin E (2000) Emissions of N2O, NH3, and NOx from fuel combustion, industrial processes and the agricultural sectors in China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 57:99–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mohiuddin O, Asumadusarkodie S, Obaidullah M (2016a) The relationship between carbon dioxide emissions, energy consumption, and GDP: a recent evidence from Pakistan. Cogent Eng 3:1210491Google Scholar
  34. Mohiuddin O, Mohiuddin A, Obaidullah M, Ahmed H, Asumadusarkodie S (2016b) Electricity production potential and social benefits from rice husk, a case study in Pakistan. Cogent Eng 3:1177156Google Scholar
  35. Mosier A, Kroeze C, Nevison C, Oenema O, Seitzinger S, Cleempu OV (1998) Closing the global atmospheric N2O budget: nitrous oxide emissions through the agricultural nitrogen cycle; OECD/IPCC/IEA phase II development of IPCC guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 52:225–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Newell, A., Nuttall, P., Holland, E.A. (2015) United nations global sustainable development report 2015Google Scholar
  37. Owusu PA, Asumadusarkodie S (2016) A review of renewable energy sources, sustainability issues, and climate change mitigation. Cogent Eng 3:1167990Google Scholar
  38. Owusu PA, Asumadusarkodie S, Ameyo P (2016) A review of Ghana’s water resource management and the future prospect. Cogent Eng 3:1164275CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parton WJ, Gutmann MP, Merchant ER, Hartman MD, Adler PR, Mcneal FM, Lutz SM (2015) Measuring and mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas production in the US Great Plains, 1870–2000. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:E4681–E4688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ramanathan V, Feng Y (2008) On avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system: formidable challenges ahead. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:14245–14250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Reynolds TW, Waddington SR, Anderson CL, Chew A, True Z, Cullen A (2015) Environmental impacts and constraints associated with the production of major food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Food Sec 7:795–822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sanford RA, Wagner DD, Wu Q, Chee-Sanford JC, Thomas SH, Cruz-García C, Rodríguez G, Massol-Deyá A, Krishnani KK, Ritalahti KM (2012) Unexpected non-denitrifier nitrous oxide reductase gene diversity and abundance in soils. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:19709–19714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ullah, A., Khan, D., Khan, I., Zheng, S. (2018) Does agricultural ecosystem cause environmental pollution in Pakistan? Promise and menace. Environ Sci Pollut Res 1–18Google Scholar
  44. Vasilica S, Fintineru G, Mihalache M (2014) Multicriteria analysis of the effects of field burning crop residues. Not Bot Horti Agrobo-Napoca 42:255–262Google Scholar
  45. Viana M, Reche C, Amato F, Alastuey A, Querol X, Moreno T, Lucarelli F, Nava S, Calzolai G, Chiari M (2013) Evidence of biomass burning aerosols in the Barcelona urban environment during winter time. Atmos Environ 72:81–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. World Bank (2017) World development indicators. Accessed 4 Apr 2016
  47. Xu P, Zhang Y, Gong W, Hou X, Kroeze C, Gao W, Luan S (2015) An inventory of the emission of ammonia from agricultural fertilizer application in China for 2010 and its high-resolution spatial distribution. Atmos Environ 115:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Economics and ManagementNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

Personalised recommendations