Land use is the one place any country can examine where land use can be improved to grow larger carbon sinks.
11 April 2014, Rome (click here) - New FAO estimates of greenhouse gas data show that emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have nearly doubled over the past fifty years and could increase an additional 30 percent by 2050, without greater efforts to reduce them....
...Meanwhile, net GHG emissions due to land use change and deforestation registered a nearly 10 percent decrease over the 2001-2010 period, averaging some 3 billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr over the decade. This was the result of reduced levels of deforestation and increases in the amount of atmospheric carbon being sequestered in many countries....
...Averaged over the 2001-2010 period, agriculture, forestry and other land uses (AFOLU) emissions break down as follows:
5 billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr from crop and livestock production
4 billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr due to net forest conversion to other lands (a proxy for deforestation)
1 billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr from degraded peatlands
0.2 billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr by biomass fires
In addition to these emissions, some two billion tonnes CO2 eq/yr were removed from the atmosphere during the same time frame as a result of carbon sequestration in forest sinks....
...The largest source of GHG emissions within agriculture is enteric fermentation - when methane is produced by livestock during digestion and released via belches - this accounted in 2011 for 39 percent of the sector's total GHG outputs. Emissions from enteric fermentation increased 11 percent between 2001 and 2011.
Emissions generated during the application of synthetic fertilizers accounted for 13 percent of agricultural emissions (725 Mt CO2 eq.) in 2011, and are the fastest growing emissions source in agriculture, having increased some 37 percent since 2001.
Greenhouse gases resulting from biological processes in rice paddies that generate methane make up 10 percent of total agricultural emissions, while the burning of savannahs accounts for 5 percent.
In 2011, 44 percent of agriculture-related GHG outputs occurred in Asia, followed by the Americas (25%), Africa (15%), Europe (12%), and Oceania (4%), according to FAO's data. This regional distribution was fairly constant over the last decade. In 1990 however, Asia's contribution to the global total (38%) was smaller than at present, while Europe's was much larger (21%)....