Research on GHG Emissions in Agricultural Ecosystems

This page last reviewed March 21, 2017


Yolo Green

To improve California's current GHG inventory, ARB is developing research to better understand nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural ecosystems under California specific conditions. Data may be used to develop California specific baseline emissions and improved fertilizer management practices.

ARB's GHG inventory for 2010 estimates that N2O contributed roughly 13.9 MMTCO2E, or 2.6 percent of California's total GHG emissions. Agricultural soil was the largest source of N2O, accounting for approximately 8.3 MMTCO2E or 60 percent of the State's total N2O emissions. It is estimated that approximately 3.5 MMTCO2E of N2O emissions from agricultural soil results from the application of organic and synthetic fertilizers.

There is uncertainty about how much N2O is emitted from agricultural soils under California specific conditions for the wide range of commodities and farming practices in the State. Current methods estimate that, on average, approximately 50 percent of the nitrogen fertilizer applied in the field is lost to the transport pathways of volatilization, leaching, and runoff.

What's New

Posted July 16, 2015

A meeting on N2O Research Projects will be held August 19, 2015. The purpose of the meeting is to receive updates and discuss research proposals being funded by ARB, the California Energy Commission, California Department of Food and Agriculture and CalRecycle. This is a continuing effort to coordinate research with state agencies, academia, and industry and receive input on proposed research for improving our understanding of N2O emissions associated with fertilizer use in California. Below are links to the meeting agenda and meeting notice. 
Research presentations and final reports are available at this link: N2O Meetings


For more information, please contact Lei Guo at (916) 322-8097.

Economic Sectors Portal