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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Food production and consumption have a more significant impact than any other human activity worldwide. Food production is the biggest sector in the world, and it directly affects all other sectors. The goal of food production has always been to produce enough nutritious food for all individuals. With time the food production process has become complex with some harmful practices. The food production process poses a risk in Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Greenhouse emissions are created during the conversion of non-agricultural land to agricultural land. These emissions occur during food production. Animal husbandry also contributes to the emitted Greenhouse gases, which include Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide gases. Farm animals are divided into two; ruminant and monogastric animals. Ruminant animals have a higher contribution to the emission of gases than monogastric animals. Food production is the largest user of land and producer of fossil fuels, and gases are produced through activities like rice production and livestock rearing.

Risk analysis

Carbon dioxide emissions occur during tilling of lands, crop planting, and the shipment of food to the market or the industries for processing. Carbon dioxide emissions contribute to approximately 24 percent of worldwide Greenhouse emissions.

Methane emissions are done by livestock like cows when they belch. Methane contributes to 14.5 percent of Greenhouse gases, and although its residency period is shorter than carbon, it contributes more to global warming (Jackson et al., 2020). The animals require large pieces of land for grazing, which causes the underutilization of farming lands. Rice cultivation is the second producer of methane emissions. Jackson et al. (2020) state that methane produced by rice produced totals 1.5 percent of all Greenhouse gases.

Nitrous oxide is produced through the use of organic and synthetic fertilizers. Nitrous oxide contributes to 6 percent of all the Greenhouse gases produced. The gas is highly poisonous and has a lasting effect as it has a higher residence time than other Greenhouse gases.

Land use

Land use contributes to Greenhouse emissions in that deforestation causes Carbon dioxide release, use of fertilizers releases Nitrous oxide, and rice cultivation and fermentation in animals causes methane production. The changes in land cover resulting from deforestation affect different regions. Clearing forests to make room for more planting areas and rearing fields results in the warming or cooling of various regions. The solar radiation in the areas increases, which can be detrimental to the overall health of humans and livestock. Deforestation also affects the rate of Carbon reuptake which contributes to the high concentration of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Land clearing practices like slashing and burning burn the biomatter and directly release Greenhouse gases into the air and soot into the atmosphere. The soil carbon sponge is also destroyed when clearing land for cultivation. Methane produced by rice production is due to the constant flooding in rice fields (Jackson et al., 2020). The flooding prevents the soil from absorbing oxygen from the atmosphere, causing the organic matter in the soil to undergo anaerobic fermentation. Therefore, the soil’s bacteria produce methane that is gradually released into the atmosphere. Livestock also contributes to Greenhouse gas emissions as most crops like corn and alfalfa are grown to feed the animals (Qin et al., 2021). The animals have enteric fermentation, a process that contributes mainly to the number of Greenhouse gases. The Meat produced by ruminant animals also has higher carbon content than other non-ruminant animals. Fertilizer production also contributes to the gases produced. The gases are produced while manufacturing nitrogenous fertilizer, the main type used during farming.

Effect on the human population

The greenhouse gases cause an increase in global temperatures. The gases cause flooding in most coastal cities and desertification of previously fertile lands. The soil degradation process has been increasing due to global warming, a process that destroys the biological potential of affected areas. The areas turn into unproductive barren lands after the climate changes harshly. The melting of glacial masses also negatively affects the atmosphere as it reduces the solar that is reflected back to the atmosphere. The gases and global warming cause an increase in hurricanes. Climate change causes an increase in the intensity of hurricanes and other sea disasters (Mikhaylov et al., 2020). The climate changes also cause the migration of animals and humans in search of cooler and more tolerable climates.

Extreme heat and other consequences of the increasing Greenhouse gas emissions are more harmful to women, gender-diverse individuals, and people of color. The changes in the climate are increasing the diseases witnessed like heat-related diseases, allergies, asthma, malnutrition, mental conditions, and vector-borne diseases. Smokes produced when burning and clearing land for planting cause asthma in children and fetuses. The people displaced by harsh climates face malnutrition as they cannot access nutritious food. They are also likely to suffer from mental illnesses as they constantly worry about their well-being (Mikhaylov et al., 2020). Vector-borne diseases like malaria are caused when the sea level increases and causes stagnation in residential areas. Animals like cows have ticks that can also infect humans with tick-borne encephalitis.

Risk communication

It is reported that 11.3 percent of gases were produced by agriculture in the USA in 2020. In 2010, agriculture produced approximately 25 percent of the gases emitted; in 2020, the food production sector produced 37 percent of all gases (Qin et al., 2021). This percentage increased by more than 10 percent, which is alarming and concerning, and if not addressed, the number is expected to increase by more than 30 percent due to high population growth and changes in diet. The global production of gases increases yearly, and so are the effects of these gases. The agricultural gas emissions should be addressed to reduce future climatic changes and offer better production methods.


Reducing methane production in animals can be achieved by reducing enteric fermentation and using new technology. The methane produced by animals is from the animal’s stomachs. The technologies used to improve production can also reduce gas production. The strategies work by manipulating microbiological components in the animal’s stomach by using vaccines. Using special feeds and supplementary drugs in the animal’s diet can potentially reduce animal emissions. Farmer can also select animal breeds that have low emissions. To reduce the gases produced by manure, most farmers use a confined setting to manage the manure and reduce the gases produced. In the USA, there are associations like, Asociación de Cooperación para el Desarrollo Rural de Occidente (C.D.R.O.). The program monitors weather patterns and helps the farmers adapt and be prepared for climate changes (Eskander & Fankhauser 2020). In South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, AgMIP regional research teams (RRTs) conduct research to understand the agricultural impacts of weather changes.

Various policies can be effective in the reduction efforts. Countries should adopt water catchment routines to reduce climate change’s effects. Recently, a compound has been discovered that reduces emissions and increases animal growth rate. The compound 3-nitrooxypropan (3-NOP) requires daily administration (Eskander & Fankhauser 2020). Governments can offer 3-NOP demonstrations and projects to help the farmers increase their use. The government can also provide incentives to farmers and private sectors that encourage individuals to use the compound. The government should also have continuous research on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers should reduce and separate the liquid and solid manure to improve the chances of the manure being used as manure. This process will potentially reduce the gases emitted and the reliance on fertilizers. Creating necessary technologies that are affordable even in developing countries can be the answer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Eskander, S. M., & Fankhauser, S. (2020). Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from national climate legislation. Nature Climate Change10(8), 750-756.

Jackson, R. B., Saunois, M., Bousquet, P., Canadell, J. G., Poulter, B., Stavert, A. R., … & Tsuruta, A. (2020). Increasing anthropogenic methane emissions arise equally from agricultural and fossil fuel sources. Environmental Research Letters15(7), 071002.

Mikhaylov, A., Moiseev, N., Aleshin, K., & Burkhardt, T. (2020). Global climate change and the greenhouse effect. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues7(4), 2897.

Qin, Z., Deng, S., Dunn, J., Smith, P., & Sun, W. (2021). Animal waste use and implications to agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Environmental Research Letters16(6), 064079.


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