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Spatial heterogeneity of greenhouse gas emissions from cereal crop production in China

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  • Minghao Zhuang, China Agricultural University, Beijing Technology and Business University
  • ,
  • Dario Caro
  • Wei Qin, China Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Chun Wang, State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Food Chain Pollution Control, Beijing Technology and Business University
  • ,
  • Xiaolin Yang, China Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Rui Liu, China Agricultural University
  • ,
  • Lin Zhang, China Agricultural University

China is a major producer of wheat, maize and rice, which generates massive greenhouse gas emissions due to the consumption of elevated amounts of energy, land, and water, yet there is actually few knowledge on the spatial heterogeneity of greenhouse gas emissions. Here, we introduce a polyphasic approach to quantify the emissions from the land, energy, and water in Chinese cereal production. Results show that total greenhouse gas emissions from wheat, maize and rice crops reached 505.5 Tg CO2eq, including 247.5 Tg CO2eq for the land, 222.1 Tg CO2eq for energy, and 35.9 Tg CO2eq for water. The major greenhouse gas contributors are the land, of 55.8%, and energy to produce nitrogen fertilizers, of 30.5%. Moreover, greenhouse gas emissions from cereal production show large-scale spatial heterogeneity at the provincial scale due to differences in crop type, natural resources, and managerial practices. The collective adoption of green technologies and reasonable food trading practices could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the cereal production supply chain, further promoting the carbon neutrality of agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Pages (from-to)3371-3376
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

    Research areas

  • Cereal crops, Greenhouse gas emissions, Mitigation strategies, Resource inputs

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