Among the following crops, which one is the most important anthropogenic source of both methane and nitrous oxide?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2022 Prelims]
- Methane and nitrous oxide are important greenhouse gases. They contribute to global warming. Important anthropogenic sources of biogenic methane are wet rice fields, cattle, animal waste, landfills and biomass burning.
- Flooded rice cultivation has been identified as one of the leading global agricultural sources of anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions. Furthermore, it has been estimated that global rice production is responsible for 11% of total anthropogenic CH4 emissions.
- According to a global analysis by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in the US, methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice farms could have the same long-term warming impact as about 600 coal plants.
- The researchers investigated greenhouse gas emissions from rice farms across southern India. They found that nitrous oxide emissions from rice can contribute up to 99 % of the total climate impact of rice cultivation at a variety of intermittently flooded farms.