IMPACT OF AGRICULTURE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The agricultural sector is a driving force in the gas emissions and land use effects thought to cause climate change. In addition to being a significant user of land and consumer of fossil fuel, agriculture contributes directly to greenhouse gas emissions through practices such as rice production and the raising of livestock. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the three main causes of the increase in greenhouse gases observed over the past 250 years have been fossil fuels, land use, and agriculture.

Agriculture

Agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas increases through land use in four main ways:

Together, these agricultural processes comprise 54% of methane emissions, roughly 80% of nitrous oxide emissions, and virtually all carbon dioxide emissions tied to land use. Deforestation also affects regional carbon reuptake, which can result in increased concentrations of CO2

Livestock

Livestock and livestock-related activities such as deforestation and increasingly fuel-intensive farming practices are responsible for over 18% of human-made greenhouse gas emissions, including:

Worldwide, livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture, or 30% of the land surface of the Earth.

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Pesticide cycle

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