Management practices used on croplands to enhance crop yields and quality can contribute about 10–20% of global greenhouse gases (GHGs: carbon dioxide [CO2], nitrous oxide [N2O], and methane [CH4]). Some of these practices are tillage, cropping systems, N fertilization, organic fertilizer application, cover cropping, fallowing, liming, etc. The impact of these practices on GHGs in radiative forcing in the earth’s atmosphere is quantitatively estimated by calculating net global warming potential (GWP) which accounts for all sources and sinks of CO2 equivalents from farm operations, chemical inputs, soil carbon sequestration, and N2O and CH4 emissions. Net GWP for a crop production system is expressed as kg CO2 eq. ha−1 year.−1 Net GWP can also be expressed in terms of crop yield (kg CO2 eq. kg−1 grain or biomass yield) which is referred to as net greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) or yield-scaled GWP and is calculated by dividing net GWP by crop yield. This article discusses the literature review of the effects of various management practices on GWP and GHGI from croplands as well as different methods used to calculate net GWP and GHGI. The paper also discusses novel management techniques to mitigate net CO2 emissions from croplands to the atmosphere. This information will be used to address the state of global carbon cycle.
Part of the book: Climate Resilient Agriculture