Saturday, February 25, 2017
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 The Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Platform is made up of two experimental projects and one data synthesis and modelling project:
 Project AC0114 – Data synthesis, modelling and management
 This project will provide a synthesis of existing and new evidence on GHG emission factors and the effectiveness of mitigating measures, provided by the partner projects and sourced from an international literature review and archive of government funded experimentation on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from UK agriculture. This will be integrated with UK agricultural statistics and data on farm practices to define an improved Emissions Inventory structure for reporting and tracking change. This will be supported by the development of a robust methodology to quantify the uncertainty in emission estimates to measure our confidence in forecast changes in gaseous emissions. This will involve the use of computer models and linking of survey data to develop improved methodologies for representing the spatial pattern of agricultural activities and inputs in relation to the soil and climate factors that control emissions.
 An important deliverable from this project will therefore be the definition of the data sets required for a spatially explicit inventory that can represent the regional variations in agricultural practice, and a methodology for disaggregating total emissions along sector and farm system lines to help monitor, target and communicate the need for industry action on reducing emissions. This project also has responsibility for information sharing and coordination with the agricultural industry and scientific community. The project is composed of 7 Work Packages [Read more...]
 Project AC0115 – Measurements of methane emissions from livestock and their manures
 This project will deliver a set of emission factors for methane from different livestock species (focusing on cattle and sheep) and breeds/genotypes, under a range of different farm systems and representative business structures.  These will be generated through a number of measurements within representative breed/system approaches that will also assess the effects of nutrition (basal forages, concentrate supplements, and feed additives), and which will be applicable to the development of an improved UK greenhouse gas inventory reporting structure.  The emission factors will be developed using protocols that ensure the data are robust enough to meet the requirements of the UNFCCC Greenhouse Gas reporting system.
 The project will be run in close liaison with project AC0114, which is working to develop new emission factors by exploiting existing datasets held by partner organisations.  Those datasets consist of measurements of methane emissions from ruminant animals fed well-characterised diets.  In this project, those datasets will be augmented by new measurements of systems, or components of systems, either absent or under-represented in the current datasets, to deliver baseline values for methane emissions and estimates of currently unknown effects of animal breeds and genotypes, age, diet, seasonality and regional variation.  These emission factors may then be aligned with spatial and temporal disaggregation of UK farming systems to improve the precision of GHG inventory reporting and enable monitoring of the effects of implementation of various GHG mitigation practices.  The project is composed of 8 Work Packages. [Read more...]
 Project AC0116 – Measurement of nitrous oxide emissions from soils
 There is an urgent requirement to improve the national agricultural inventory for N2O emissions to better reflect management systems within the UK, to take account of the range of soil types and climate and future proof the inventory structure to take account of potential mitigation methods, thus enabling government and different agricultural sectors to track N2O emissions against national and industry level targets. This entails a move from what is essentially a Tier 1 structure (with some country-specific activity data) to a Tier 2 structure using country-specific emission factors (EFs) and improved activity data, and eventually towards a Tier 3 approach.
 The InveN2Ory project (project AC0116) builds upon previous studies and comprises five interlinked workpackages. We will generate measured and modelled EFs for direct (and some indirect) emissions of N2O from N fertilisers, manures and grazing returns of both dung and urine from a range of soils, farming systems and climatic zones of the UK. Mechanistic models will be used to generate EFs from combinations of soil, climate and N source, which cannot be measured, as well as to test some mitigation strategies. An important research activity will be the verification of N2O emissions at a range of spatial and temporal scales.
 Through the combination of N2O emission measurements, verification and modelling, this project will provide Defra and the Devolved Administrations with a robust evidence base to underpin the improved N2O inventory at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. [Read more...]
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