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Professor Leads Recommendations on Climate Change Mitigation

Professor Leads Recommendations on Climate Change Mitigation

18 April 2014

US - The latest assessment of global climate change is out and scientists from around the world have recommended changes including some in agriculture, forestry and other land use designed to mitigate their effects on climate change.

As a lead author of a chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report released this month, Kansas State University Distinguished Professor and soil microbiologist Chuck Rice gave a presentation at the World Bank on April 16.

Rice was part of a group of 18 authors from around the world who wrote the chapter pertaining to agriculture, forestry, and other land use. In an interview, he discussed some of the recommendations made by the authors.

Most greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Greenhouse gases act like a blanket around the Earth, trapping energy in the atmosphere and causing it to warm. This is called the greenhouse effect and is natural and necessary to support life on Earth. However, a buildup of greenhouse gases can change Earth's climate.

“Agriculture globally contributes about 10 to 12 per cent to greenhouse gas emissions,” Professor Rice said.

“If you add in forestry it moves it up to around 25 per cent. Agriculture is significant but not the major contributor and has declined slightly, percentage-wise, since the last report in 2007, not so much because agriculture has changed that much but because the energy sector is contributing more.”

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