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Developments in greenhouse gas emissions and net energy use in Danish agriculture – How to achieve substantial CO₂ reductions?

Dalgaard, T., Olesen, J.E., Petersen, S.O., Petersen, B.M., Jørgensen, U., Kristensen, T., Hutchings, N.J., Gyldenkærne, S., Hermansen, J.E.
Environmental pollution 2011 v.159 no.11 pp. 3193-3203
afforestation, animal feeding, bioenergy, carbon, carbon dioxide, energy balance, energy crops, fertilizers, food production, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, land use change, manure handling, methane, nitrous oxide, organic production
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture are a significant contributor to total Danish emissions. Consequently, much effort is currently given to the exploration of potential strategies to reduce agricultural emissions. This paper presents results from a study estimating agricultural GHG emissions in the form of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide (including carbon sources and sinks, and the impact of energy consumption/bioenergy production) from Danish agriculture in the years 1990–2010. An analysis of possible measures to reduce the GHG emissions indicated that a 50–70% reduction of agricultural emissions by 2050 relative to 1990 is achievable, including mitigation measures in relation to the handling of manure and fertilisers, optimization of animal feeding, cropping practices, and land use changes with more organic farming, afforestation and energy crops. In addition, the bioenergy production may be increased significantly without reducing the food production, whereby Danish agriculture could achieve a positive energy balance.