Decoupling between ammonia emission and crop production in China due to policy interventions

Adalibieke, Wulahati; Zhan, Xiaoying; Cui, Xiaoqing; Reis, Stefan ORCID:; Winiwarter, Wilfried; Zhou, Feng. 2021 Decoupling between ammonia emission and crop production in China due to policy interventions. Global Change Biology, 27 (22). 5877-5888.

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Cropland ammonia (NH3) emission is a critical driver triggering haze pollution. Many agricultural policies were enforced in past four decades to improve nitrogen (N) use efficiency while maintaining crop yield. Inadvertant reductions of NH3 emissions, which may be induced by such policies, are not well evaluated. Here, we quantify the China’s cropland-NH3 emission change from 1980 to 2050 and its response to policy interventions, using a data-driven model and a survey-based dataset of the fertilization scheme. Cropland-NH3 emission in China doubled from 1.93 to 4.02 Tg NH3-N in period 1980-1996, and then decreased to 3.50 Tg NH3-N in 2017. The prevalence of four agricultural policies may avoid ~3.0 Tg NH3-N in 2017, mainly located in highly-fertilized areas. Optimization of fertilizer management and food consumption could mitigate three quarters of NH3 emission in 2050 and lower NH3 emission intensity (emission divided by crop production) close to the European Union and the United States. Our findings provide an evidence on the decoupling of cropland-NH3 from crop production in China, and suggest the need to achieve cropland-NH3 mitigation while sustaining crop yields in other developing economies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1354-1013
Additional Keywords: agricultural management, ammonia, decoupling, emission inventory, flux upscaling, policy intervention
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 01 Sep 2021 13:55 +0 (UTC)

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