Flooded rice (Oryza sativa L.) 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. Considering that CH4 has a global warming potential that is approximately 25 times more potent, on a mass basis, than carbon dioxide (CO2) and rice production is globally extensive and concentrated in several mid-southern and southern states and California, the purpose of this review is two-fold: (i) discuss the factors known to control CH4 production in the soil and transport to the atmosphere from rice cultivation and (ii) summarize the historic and recent research conducted on CH4 emissions from rice production in the temperate United States. Though some knowledge has been gained, there is much more that still needs to be learned and understood regarding CH4 emissions from rice production in the United States, its contribution to climate change, and potential mitigation strategies. Extending the current knowledge base surrounding CH4 emissions from rice cultivation will help regulatory bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, refine greenhouse gas emissions factors to combat the potential negative effects of climate change.
Part of the book: Greenhouse Gases