Greenhouse gas emissions are a major environmental concern. Peter Turner studies the emission budget of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are produced in agricultural systems. He centers his work on the U.S. Corn Belt’s production of nitrous oxide, which is the primary ozone-depleting substance and a potent GHG.
“I estimate the magnitude and distribution of nitrous oxide emissions using a combination of field-scale measurements, simulation experiments and statistical models which inform mitigation strategies,” he says.
Turner believes farmers can become leaders in climate change mitigation. In the United States alone, 60 percent to 80 percent of nitrous oxide emissions are linked to agriculture. It is widely known that how farmers choose to grow their crops affects air and water quality hundreds of miles away.
“The agricultural community currently faces tremendous pressure to reduce emissions while simultaneously increasing yields to feed a growing world,” Turner says. “Establishing the impact of different agricultural practices on GHG emissions helps to inform management decisions that benefit both the farmer and community.”