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An evaluation of integrated spatial technology framework for greenhouse gas mitigation in grain production in Western Australia

Engelbrecht, Deborah, Biswas, Wahidul K., Ahmad, Waqar
Journal of cleaner production 2013 v.57 pp. 69-78
agricultural industry, carbon dioxide, climate change, cost effectiveness, crop production, crop rotation, emissions, gases, geographic information systems, greenhouse gases, life cycle assessment, markets, methane, nitrous oxide, pig manure, remote sensing, renewable energy sources, temperature, Western Australia
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts an increase of 0.2 °C per decade for the next two decades in global temperatures and a rise of between 1.5 and 4.5 °C by the year 2100. Related to the increase in world temperatures is the increase in Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) which are primarily made up of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and fluorinated gases. In 2004, the GHGs from agriculture contributed 14% of the overall global GHGs made up mainly of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. In Australia, the dominant source of CH4 and N2O emissions for the year ending June 2012 was found to be from the agricultural sector. With the recent introduction of the Clean Energy Act 2011, the agricultural sector of Australia is expected to develop appropriate GHG mitigation strategies to maintain and improve its competitiveness in the green commodity market. This paper proposes the use of Integrated Spatial Technologies (IST) framework by linking Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The IST approach also integrates and highlights the use of Cleaner Production (CP) strategies for the formulation and application of cost-effective GHG mitigation options for grain production in Western Australia (WA). In this study, the IST framework was tested using data from an existing study (the baseline study) and two mitigation options. The analysis results revealed production and use of fertiliser as the “hotspot”, and for mitigation purposes was replaced with pig manure in option 1, whereas option 2 emphasised crop rotation system/s.