Events & Media
Professor Phillips publishes in Future Science on the implications of well-managed pastures on carbon sequestration
- Improved pasture management is an alternative food use for land and has multiple environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration reduced erosion and reduced input use.
- Management-intensive grazing has been estimated to sequester from 0.21 to as high as 2.9 megagrams carbon equivalent per hectare per year.
- First-order analysis indicates that 10 million ha of cropland could convert to well-managed pastures by 2030 if ethanol experiences a 100% drawdown.
Chad Hellwinckel & Jennifer G. Phillips
Background: As the debate over governmental subsidization of ethanol continues, the academic and policy communities should prepare for a potential reduction of ethanol production, and be aware of the potential land use impacts. We report a first-order estimate of carbon implications of the change in land use that results from a reduction of ethanol production from current levels and having well-managed pasture as an alternative land management option. Method: An integrated biogeophysical–socioeconomic model is used to evaluate three levels of potential reductions in ethanol production, along with the possibility of conversion of cropland to pasture management. Results: Results indicate that up to 10 million ha of cropland could be converted to pastureland, reducing agricultural land use emissions by nearly 10 teragrams carbon equivalent per year, a 36% decline in carbon emissions from agricultural land use.
Citation: Hellwinckel, C., and J.G. Phillips, (2012). Land use carbon implications of a reduction in ethanol production and an increase in well-managed pastures. Future Science (3), 27-38.
This event was last updated on 02-13-2012