Climatic Change

, Volume 126, Issue 1–2, pp 203–216

Global and regional trends in greenhouse gas emissions from livestock

  • Dario Caro
  • Steven J. Davis
  • Simone Bastianoni
  • Ken Caldeira
Article

Abstract

Following IPCC guidelines (IPCC 2006), we estimate greenhouse gas emissions related to livestock in 237 countries and 11 livestock categories during the period 1961–2010. We find that in 2010 emissions of methane and nitrous oxide related to livestock worldwide represented approximately 9 % of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Global GHG emissions from livestock increased by 51 % during the analyzed period, mostly due to strong growth of emissions in developing (Non-Annex I) countries (+117 %). In contrast, developed country (Annex I) emissions decreased (−23 %). Beef and dairy cattle are the largest source of livestock emissions (74 % of global livestock emissions). Since developed countries tend to have lower CO2-equivalent GHG emissions per unit GDP and per quantity of product generated in the livestock sector, the amount of wealth generated per unit GHG emitted from the livestock sector can be increased by improving both livestock farming practices in developing countries and the overall state of economic development. Our results reveal important details of how livestock production and associated GHG emissions have occurred in time and space. Discrepancies with higher tiers, demonstrate the value of more detailed analyses, and discourage over interpretation of smaller-scale trends in the Tier 1 results, but do not undermine the value of global Tier 1 analysis.

Supplementary material

10584_2014_1197_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 15 kb)
10584_2014_1197_MOESM2_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 2(DOCX 14 kb)
10584_2014_1197_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (1.5 mb)
ESM 3(XLSX 1586 kb)

References

  1. Barton PK, Atwater JW (2002) Nitrous oxide emissions and the anthropogenic nitrogen in wastewater and solid waste. J Environ Eng 128:137–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bastianoni S, Caro D, Borghesi S, Pulselli FM (2014) The effect of a consumption-based accounting method in national GHG inventories: a trilateral application at macro and micro scale. Frontiers Energy Syst Policy In press. doi:10.3389/fenrg.2014.00004
  3. Bateman EJ, Baggs EM (2005) Contributions of nitrification and denitrification to N2O emissions from soils at different water-filled pore space. Biol Fertil Soils 41:379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouwman T (1996) Direct emission of nitrous oxide from agricultural soils. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 46:53–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bustamante MMC, Nobre CA, Smeraldi R, Aguiar APD, Barioni LG, Ferreira LG, Longo K et al (2012) Estimating greenhouse gas emissions from beef cattle raising in Brazil. Clim Chang 115:559–577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caro D, Bastianoni S, Borghesi S, Pulselli FM (2014) On the feasibility of a consumer-based allocation method in national GHG inventories. Ecol Indic 36:640–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Engstrom R, Wadeskog A, Finnveden G (2007) Environmental assessment of Swedish agriculture. Ecol Econ 60:550–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. EPA (2006) Global anthropogenic non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions: 1990–2020. United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 430-R-06-003, June 2006. Washington, DC, USA. www.epa.gov/nonCO2/econ-inv/dow
  9. EPA (2011) Global anthropogenic non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions: 1990–2030. Final report 182 pg. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/EPAactivities/economics/nonco2projections.html
  10. FAO (2005) Livestock policy brief 02 (FAO, Rome, 2005). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available at: http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/resources/en/pubs_sap.html
  11. FAO (2014) FAOSTAT Online Database: available at http://faostat.fao.org/. Accessed Feb 2014
  12. Garnett T (2009) Livestock-related greenhouse gas emissions: impacts and options for policy makers. Environ Sci Policy 12:491–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Godfray HCJ, Beddington JR, Crute IR, Haddad L, Lawrence D, Muir JF, Pretty J, Robinson S, Thomas SM, Toulmin C (2010) The food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 137:812–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herrero M, Thorton PK (2009) Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from livestock systems. Agriculture and climate change: an Agenda for negotiation in Copenhagen. Focus 16, brief 6Google Scholar
  15. IPCC (2006) 2006 IPCC Guideline for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Eggleston H S, Buendia L, Miwa K, Ngara T, Tanabe K. IGES, Japan. Available at: http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/index.html
  16. IPCC (2007) Intergovernmental panel on climate change. Working group III. Climate change 2007: mitigation of climate change. Available at http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_ipcc_fourth_assessment_report_wg3_report_mitigation_of_climate_change.htm. Accessed Feb 2014
  17. JRC (2010) Evaluation of the livestock sector’s contribution to the EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GGELS)—Final Report (Ispra: European Commission, Joint Research Centre). Leip A, Weiss F, Wassenaar T, Perez I, Fellmann T, Loudjani P, Tubiello F, Grandgirard D, Monni S and Biala K). Pg 323. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/analysis/external/livestock-gas/
  18. JRC/PBL (2012) EDGAR version 4.2 FT2010. Joint Research Centre of the European Commission/PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. [Internet] Available at: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.php. Accessed Feb 2014
  19. Klein CAM, Novoa RSA, Ogle S, Smith KA, Rochette P, Wirth T, McConkey B, Mosier A, Rypdal K, Walsh M, Williams SA (2006) N2O emissions from managed soils, and CO2 emissions from lime and urea application. Chapter 11. 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventoriesGoogle Scholar
  20. Meyer RL, Kjær T, Revsbech NP (2002) Nitrification and denitrification near a soil-manure interface studied with a nitrate-nitrite biosensor. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:498–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Miller MN, Zebarth BJ, Dandie CE, Burton DL, Goyer G, Trevors JT (2009) Influence of liquid manure on soil denitrifier abundance, denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions. 73:760–768.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of the environment (2014) The official annual report of all anthropogenic (human induced) emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in New Zealand. Available at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/climate/greenhouse-gas-inventory-2014/index.html. Accessed Feb 2014.
  23. Moran D, Wall E (2011) Livestock production and greenhouse gas emissions: Defining the problem and specifying solutions. Anim Front 1:19–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Narula R, Dunning JH (2000) Industrial development, globalization and multinational enterprises: New realities for developing countries. Oxf Dev Stud 28:141–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Naylor R, Steinfeld H, Falcon W, Galloway J, Smil V et al (2005) Losing the links between livestock and land. Science 10(3):1621–1622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. NOAA (2014) National climatic data center. Earth System Research Laboratory of the University of Delware. National oceanic and atmosphere administration. Available at: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.UDel_AirT_Precip.html. Accessed Feb 2014
  27. Oenema O, Tamminga S (2005) Nitrogen in global animal production and management options for improving nitrogen use efficiency. Sci China Ser C Life Sci 48:871–887Google Scholar
  28. Reay DS, Davidson EA, Smith KA, Smith P, Melillo JM, Dentener F, Crutzen PJ (2012) Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions. Nat Clim Chang 2:410–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rose SK, Lee HL (2008) Non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions data for climate change economic analysis. GTAP working paper No. 43Google Scholar
  30. Steinfeld H, Gerber P, Wassenaar T, Castel V, Rosales M, De Haan C (2006) Livestock’s long shadow: environmental issues and options. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy. 408 pg. Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM
  31. Tubiello FN, Salvatore M, Rossi S, Ferrara A, Fitton N, Smith P (2013) The FAOSTAT database of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Environ Res Lett 8:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. UNEP (2012) Growing greenhouse gas emissions due to meat production. Taking the pulse of the planet; connecting science with policyGoogle Scholar
  33. UNFCCC (2014a) United Nations framework convention on climate change. Available at: http://unfccc.int/parties_and_observers/items/2704.php
  34. UNFCCC (2014b) United nations framework convention on climate change. Available at: http://unfccc.int/national_reports/annex_i_ghg_inventories/national_inventories_submissions/items/8108.php. Accessed Feb 2014.
  35. Valin H, Havlik P, Mosnier A, Herrero M, Schimd E, Obersteiner M (2013) Agricultural productivity and greenhouse gas emissions: trade-offs or synergies between mitigation and food security? Environ Res Lett. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035019 Google Scholar
  36. Vogeler I, Donna Giltrap D, Frank Li F, Snow V (2011) Comparison of models for predicting nitrification, denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions in pastoral systems. 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Perth, Australia, 12–16 December. Available at: http://mssanz.org.au/modsim2011
  37. Williams C, 2011. Animal Production Workshop, November 9–10,. The role of animal agriculture in a sustainable 21st century global food system board on agriculture and natural resources. The National Academies (National Research Council) Washington, D.C. Available at: http://dels.nas.edu/global/banr/Animal-Production-Workshop

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dario Caro
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven J. Davis
    • 3
  • Simone Bastianoni
    • 1
  • Ken Caldeira
    • 2
  1. 1.Ecodynamics group, Department of Earth, Environmental and Physical SciencesUniversity of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Global EcologyCarnegie Institution for ScienceStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Earth System ScienceUniversity of California (Irvine)IrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations