Revised spatially distributed global livestock emissions

Monday, 14 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Julie Wolf, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, MD, United States
Livestock play an important role in agricultural carbon cycling through consumption of biomass and emissions of methane. Quantification and spatial distribution of methane and carbon dioxide produced by livestock is needed to develop bottom-up estimates for carbon monitoring. These estimates serve as stand-alone international emissions estimates, as input to global emissions modeling, and as comparisons or constraints to flux estimates from atmospheric inversion models. Recent results for the US suggest that the 2006 IPCC default coefficients may underestimate livestock methane emissions. In this project, revised coefficients were calculated for cattle and swine in all global regions, based on reported changes in body mass, quality and quantity of feed, milk production, and management of living animals and manure for these regions. New estimates of livestock methane and carbon dioxide emissions were calculated using the revised coefficients and global livestock population data. Spatial distribution of population data and associated fluxes was conducted using the MODIS Land Cover Type 5, version 5.1 (i.e. MCD12Q1 data product), and a previously published downscaling algorithm for reconciling inventory and satellite-based land cover data at 0.05 degree resolution. Preliminary results for 2013 indicate greater emissions than those calculated using the IPCC 2006 coefficients. Global total enteric fermentation methane increased by 6%, while manure management methane increased by 38%, with variation among species and regions resulting in improved spatial distributions of livestock emissions. These new estimates of total livestock methane are comparable to other recently reported studies for the entire US and the State of California. These new regional/global estimates will improve the ability to reconcile top-down and bottom-up estimates of methane production as well as provide updated global estimates for use in development and evaluation of Earth system models.