The three greenhouse gases that are of most concern are Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), and Methane (CH4).
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere warming the Earth’s temperature above freezing. This is known as the Greenhouse effect.
Without some greenhouse gases and the Greenhouse Effect, Earth’s temperature would be close to -18°C.
The Earth naturally takes up about half the carbon dioxide produced by humans.
Plants, soil, and water take up carbon dioxide (CO2). If this is stored for a long time, this is known as Carbon Sequestration.
Carbon Dioxide follows a cycle that is important to all plant growth and human life. This is known as the carbon cycle.
Field crop agricultural practices both emit these gases and remove them from the atmosphere.
Carbon is stored in the soil as organic matter providing nutrients and food for plant growth and microbes.
When microbes break down nitrogen in the soil to meet their nutrient needs, small amounts of nitrous oxide are produced.
Legumes, like peas and soybeans, make their own nitrogen fertilizer from the air! This reduces emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture.
Greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian dairy cattle have decreased by 21% between 1990 and 2009 because of manure management.
Cattle produce methane caused by the fermentation that occurs in one of their four stomachs known as the rumen.
Bison, deer, and sheep, like cows, emit methane in to the atmosphere.
In Canada, agriculture emits about 8% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.
Plant a tree, or a garden; plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
Composting and recycling is a great way to help the environment, but it also reduces greenhouse gases, because it keeps extra garbage out of landfills, which can produce methane.