Sourcing and Assessing Agricultural Activity Data for Modelling and National Estimates of Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants

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Resource or Project Abstract

Significant reduction of agricultural greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2030 while implementing the goals and objectives of Food Wise 2025 is challenging. The additional challenges are to improve the accuracy of the emissions assessments, particularly from major source categories such as enteric fermentation, manure management and agricultural soils, and to identify mitigation approaches. Ireland has mainly been using the IPCC Tier 1 default methodology for reporting purposes due to both limited agricultural activity data (AAD) and the availability of appropriate emission factors (EFs). Higher tier reporting is, however, needed to facilitate the improvement of national inventory (NIR) estimates of emissions and removals within the agriculture, forestry and other land use categories. Sourcing, collecting and collation of AAD and a review of existing databases were the backbone of this project and their potentials for developing methodologies for improved estimations of GHGs, air pollutants from manure management and SOC stock changes. The key outcomes of the project obtained are:
? The national farm survey (NFS) data consisted of key AAD, but less verifiable (2%), lack of key information and inadequate representation.
? The Survey of Agricultural Production Methods (SAPM, 2010) data signified the key national farm holdings with huge uncertainties in the AAD collected.
? The AAD collecting annually by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) were useful but labour intensive. There were significant difficulties in obtaining the AAD from public agencies.
? The CSO database (Census of Agriculture/SAPM, 2010) was limited by disaggregation of AAD, and quantification and application timing for livestock slurry and solid manure.
? The estimated national total of slurry from cattle and pigs for 2010 was 30.9 vs. 32.1 Mm3 and for solid manure 319.8 vs. 320.3 Mm3 including sheep, poultry, goats and horse.
? Among livestock categories, the proportion of slurry over solids was higher for pigs than from cattle, with the major portion applied to grassland in spring and summer.
? Solid manure applied mainly to grassland in autumn and spring. Farmers mostly used splash plate for slurry and side discharge for solid manure application.
? Depth-distribution models and pedotransfer functions were improved for the determination of soil organic carbon concentrations and bulk densities.
? The SOC density was higher in the organic than in the organo-mineral and mineral soils, and for different LUs: rough grazing (R)>grassland (G)>rotation/ley (Rota-GT)>tillage (T). The G and R land uses (LUs) were sink whereas the T and GT are sources.
? Empirical models were developed to minimize the overestimates caused by the IPCC default SOC density change factors (DCFs), and the corrected annual sequestration rate over 25 years was 0.23, 0.42 and 0.53 t C ha-1 yr-1 for the 0-10, 0-30 and 0-100 cm layers.
? The long-term projections resulted in a carbon sink of 1.24, 3.09 and 5.48 Tg C yr-1, respectively, demonstrating a potential to offset 24, 59 and 106% of the total GHGs emitted from Irish agriculture.
? The findings highlight the importance of replacing the apportioning approach, even for the 4? concept, by a ?mass by area (depth-specific)? one for more precise estimations.
? Besides, sub-categorization of mineral and organic soils, calculation of country-specific DCFs for individual land uses/management practices, and the estimation of weighting factors are required for backward and forward projections.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Ibrahim Khalil
University College Dublin

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3165
Resource KeywordsAgricultural Acitivity Data, Manure Storage and Management, Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants, SOC density and Stocks, Ireland.
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2015-CCRP-FS.21
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeClimate Change
Resource Availability: Non Owner-Users Cannot Download Files from This Resource
Semi-Private
Limitations on the use of this ResourceData uploaded will be available for use subjected to the EPA open access policies in association with Irish National Data Protection Act 2018, and EU data use policies (GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation 2018), as well as copyrights issue with publishers.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Wednesday 1st April 2015 (01-04-2015)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 2nd January 2006 (02-01-2006)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 31st May 2017 (31-05-2017)
Published on SAFERFriday 11th January 2019 (11-01-2019)
Date of Last EditFriday 11th January 2019 at 17:15:50 (11-01-2019)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 11th January 2019 at 17:15:50 (11-01-2019)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The geographical area is the Republic of Ireland covering land uses, agricultural management practices, soil types and properties.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
Under the terms of the EU Climate and Energy Package and its associated Effort-Sharing Decision, Ireland has been set a 30% reduction target relative to 2005 level for non-ETS emissions by 2030. These targets are particularly challenging for Irish agriculture as an increased production is envisaged following the implementation of Food Wise 2025. This reduction is amongst the highest of all the developed countries, and places an increased emphasis on accurate assessments of emissions and the quantification of mitigation approaches. As per regional and international agreements, the EPA has been submitting NIR to UNFCCC and LRTAP-ENECE following IPCC 1996 and the Good Practice Guidelines (GPG). As per decision taken at the COP19, the EPA is to implement the IPCC 2006 Guidelines for NIR under the UNFCCC and the CLRTAP starting in 2015, requiring the development of methodologies and computational protocols. These emphasize the research required to develop appropriate methodologies/procedures and to identify activity data gaps through compilation and use of emerging models that are suitable for Irish conditions. This includes improved methodologies for up-scaling of GHG emissions from site to national scales, for which most of the countries are striving to develop. However, these are associated with difficulties in accessing activity data, and that the adoption of policies to make them available to stakeholders and researchers/modellers are required. These are for precise estimation of GHGs, their EFs, and thereby improvement of national inventory report (NIR) using higher tiers, and where feasible identify mitigation options for implementation.To achieve these goals, this fellowship dealt with the development of methodologies that reflected the soil and environmental conditions correctly and provided more accurate estimation of C and N emissions for inventory reporting. This project was also aimed at developing the necessary tools and data systems that could capture the impact of mitigation actions within agricultural production systems
Supplementary Information
1. Arc-GIS was used to identify key agricultural land use classes, land use management practices and their changes at parcel level through overlaying and analysing national databases; and JMP of SAA Inc. and MS Excel for statistical analysis.

2. The author would like to thank Bruce Osborne (UCD) for hosting this fellowship and providing academic/research support; EPA staff for extending technical supports and collaboration; DAFM, CSO; and Teagasc for providing inputs and suggestions; and Prof. Jeremy Simpson (Head of School) for extending administrative and relevant support.

3. A list of pending or successful publications over the two-year project period and beyond follows:
(a) Peer-reviewed publications (journals/Boog Chapter):
(i) R. Francaviglia, B. Henry, K. Klumpp, P. Koncz, M. Llorente, E. B. Madari, M. Muñoz-Rojas and R. Nerger . 2018. Strategic management of grassland and associated land uses under livestock farming systems to maintain and increase organic carbon in soils. In: CO2 Sequestration (Book); L.A. Frazão, A.M.S. Olaya and J. Cota (Eds.). ISBN: 978-953-51-7187-4. IntechOpen Publishers, UK. (Submitted: EPA will be acknowledged, subjected to the approval of Publishing fee requested from).
(ii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2018. Improving estimates of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and their long-term temporal changes in agricultural soils in Ireland. Geoderma. 322: 172-183. (EPA Project)
(iii) Khalil, M.I., M. Abdalla, G. Lanigan, B. Osborne and C. Müller. 2016. Evaluation of parametric limitations in simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from Irish arable soils using three process-based models. Agricultural Sciences (Special Issue: Agricultural Systems Modelling) 7: 503-520. (EPA Project).
(iv) Barrett, M., M.I. Khalil, M.M.R. Jahangir, C. Lee, L.M. Cardenas, G. Collins, K. Richards and V. O?Flaherty. 2016. Carbon amendment and soil depth affects the distribution and abundance of denitrifiers in agricultural soils. Environmental Science & Pollution Research. 23: 7899-7910. DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-6030-1
(v) Cahalan, E., M. Ernfors, C. Müller, D. Devaney, R.J. Laughlin, C.J. Watson, D. Hennesy, J. Grant, M.I. Khalil, K.L. McGeough and K.G. Richards. 2015. The effect of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) on nitrous oxide and methane emissions after cattle slurry application to Irish grassland. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 199: 339-349.

(b) Conference proceedings and others (include some papers derived from this project but presented also in 2018 and acknowledged EPA):
(i) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2018. Methodological discrepancies in the IPCC-based assessments of organic carbon stock changes in agricultural soils and their offsetting potential. In: Proc. of the RIO18 - 21 World Congress of Soil Science held from 12-17 August 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. https://www.21wcss.org/inc/abstract.php. 1p.
(ii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2018. Improved methodologies for the measurement of organic carbon and estimation of stock changes in agricultural soils and their potentials for offsetting greenhouse gases. In: Proc. of the Intl. Conf. on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security ? Connecting research to policy and practice (Innovative approaches in GHG monitoring and MRV II), C. Heidecke, H. Montgomery, H. Stalb and L. Wollenberg (Eds.) held 10-13 September 2018 in Berlin, Germany. p 23.
(iii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2018. Integrating GIS and modelling approaches for precise assessment of organic carbon stocks and changes in Irish agricultural soils. In: Proc. of the 1st meeting of the Environmetrics Forum held from 25-26 April 2018 at Marine Institute, Galway, Ireland. p13.
(iv) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2018. Advancing measurement and estimation approaches for assessing organic carbon stock changes in agricultural soils and their offsetting potential. In: Proc. of the Eco-Bio 2018 Conference ?Team up to accelerate the global bioeconomy? held from 4-7 March 20118 in Dublin, Ireland. O3.05: 36.
(v) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2017. Coupling high spatial resolution data, GIS approaches and modelling for reliable estimates of SOC stocks and their historical changes in agricultural lands. In: Proceedings of the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon 2017. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 21-23 March, 2017. Rome, Italy. 109-114.
(vi) Khalil, M.I., B. Osborne, M. Abdalla, G. Lanigan, M. Williams and C. Müller. 2016. Parametric constraints across process-based models in simulating nitrous oxide emissions from arable fields. In: Proc. the 19th Nitrogen Workshop: Efficient use of different sources of nitrogen in agriculture - from theory to practice held from 27-29 June, 2016 in Skara, Sweden. pp 366-367.
(vii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2017. Is the apportioning methodology used for carbon stock accounting in agricultural soils correct? In: Proc. 5th iLEAPS Science Conference ?Understanding the impact of land-atmosphere exchanges? held from 11-14 September 2017 in Oxford, UK. https://www.ileaps.org/content/5th-ileaps-science-conference-abstracts-d4. http://ileaps.org/sites/default/files/D406_Mohammad _Ibrahim _Khalil.pdf
(viii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2017. Advancing estimation of soil organic carbon stocks and their historical changes in agricultural soils using spatial data, modelling and GIS approaches. In: Proc. the ?6th International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter? held from 3-7 September 2017 in Rothamsted Research, UK. pp. 72.
(ix) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2017. Integrating GIS and modelling approaches for precise estimation of SOC stocks and their historical changes for different agricultural land uses in Ireland. In: Proc. Environ 2017 ? Putting the Eco in the Economy held from 10-12 April 2017 at Athlone IT, Athlone, Ireland. p107.
(x) Khalil, M.I. 2017. The potential of gaseous nitrogen mitigation and offsetting in agricultural systems. In: Proc. Environ 2017 ? Putting the Eco in the Economy held from 10-12 April 2017 at Athlone IT, Athlone, Ireland. p71.
(xi) Khalil, M.I., J. Muldowney and B. Osborne. 2017. Developing methodologies for estimation of manure across livestock systems using agricultural census data. In: Proc. of the European Geosciences Union General Assembly held from 23-28 April 2017: Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 19, EGU 2017-11200.
(xii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2016. Evaluation of three process-based models with minimum input parameters in simulating greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon stocks associated with Irish arable soils. In: proceedings of 2nd ICOS Science Conference ?Observing for the future of our planet? held from 27 to 29 September 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. p120.
(xiii) Khalil, M.I., B. Osborne, G. Lanigan, M. Abdalla, and C. Müller. 2016. Strategic management and modified plant traits can contribute to a reduction in agricultural GHGs without compromising productivity and environmental sustainability. In: proceedings of 2nd ICOS Science Conference ?Observing for the future of our planet? held from 27 to 29 September 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. p157.
(xiv) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2016. Is sequestration of carbon in subsurface soils potentially sustainable for Irish agricultural land uses and the environment? In: Proc. the Irish Plant Scientists Association Meeting 2016 held from 27 to 28 April 2016 in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. p11.
(xv) Khalil, M.I., B. Osborne, G. Lanigan, M. Abdalla, M. Jones and C. Müller. 2016. Can process-based models simulate coupled greenhouse gas fluxes and soil carbon stocks? In: Proc. the 6th Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture Conference held from 14-18 February 2016 in Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. PO208: 91-92.
(xvi) Khalil, M.I., G. Lanigan, B. Hyde, P. Brennan, J. Muldowney and B. Osborne. 2015. Manure-management associated key activities regulating nutrient values and environmental consequences. In: Proc. the ?Catchment Science International Conference 2015? held from 28-30 September 2015 in Whites of Wexford, Ireland. p66.
(xvii) Khalil, M.I. and B. Osborne. 2015. Methodological discrepancies in measuring agricultural greenhouse gases for precise estimation of national emissions. In: Proc. the International Scientific Conference ? Our Common Future Under Climate Change? held from 7-10 July 2015 in UNESCO/UPMC, Paris France. P-1115-04:123.

(c) Research reports:
(i) Khalil, M.I. 2017. Agricultural Activity Data for Modelling and National Estimates of greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants. Final Report (1) for submission to Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland. (In preparation).
(ii) Khalil, M.I. 2017. Agricultural Activity Data for Modelling and National Estimates of greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants. Half-Yearly Report (1) submitted to Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland. p 8.
(iii) Khalil, M.I. 2016. Agricultural Activity Data for Modelling and National Estimates of greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants. Half-Yearly Report (2 nos.) submitted to Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland. p 8.
(iv) Khalil, M.I. 2015. Development of methodologies and modelling for accounting greenhouse gases and organic carbon stocks in agricultural soils of Ireland. Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland. Report No. 136. ISBN: 93p
Links To Other Related Resources
  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohammad_Khalil4 (Opens in a new window)

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