A new index on agricultural land greenhouse gas emissions in Africa
Impact factor: 3.307 (Year: 2022)
MetadataShow full item record
Timeless limited access
Terence Epule Epule, Abdelghani Chehbouni, Victor Ongoma, Youssef Brouziyne, Dainel Etongo, Ernest L. Molua. (21/7/2022). A new index on agricultural land greenhouse gas emissions in Africa. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
Africa emits the lowest amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the global GHG budget. However, the continent remains the most vulnerable continent to the effects of climate change. The agricultural sector in Africa is among the most vulnerable sectors to climate change. Also, as a dominant agricultural sector, African agriculture is increasingly contributing to climate change through GHG emissions. Research has so far focused on the effects of GHG emissions on the agricultural and other sectors with very little emphasis on monitoring and quantifying the spatial distribution of GHG emissions from agricultural land in Africa. This study develops a new index: African Agricultural Land Greenhouse Gas Index (AALGGI) that uses scores and specific scale ranges for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) to map the spatial variations in regional GHG emissions across Africa. The data for the three main GHGs (CO2, CH4, and N20) were downloaded from FAOSTAT. The data were analyzed through the newly developed African Agricultural Land Greenhouse Gas Index (AALGGI). This is an empirical index with scores ranging from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating higher levels of emissions. The results show that Southern and North African regions have the lowest amounts of agricultural land GHG emissions, with AALGGIs of 3.5 and 4.5, respectively. East Africa records the highest levels of GHG emissions, with an AALGGI of 8 followed by West Africa with an AALGGI of 7.5. With the continental mean or baseline AALGGI being 5.8, East and Middle Africa are above the mean AALGGI. These results underscore the fact that though Africa, in general, is not a heavy emitter of GHGs, African agricultural lands are increasingly emitting more GHGs into the global GHG budget. The low AALGGIs in the more developed parts of Africa such as Southern and North Africa are explained by their domination in other GHG emitting sectors such as industrialization and energy. The high rates of emissions in East Africa and Middle Africa are mainly linked to intensive traditional farming practices/processes and deforestation. These findings underscore the need to further leverage climate change mitigation actions and policy in Africa and most importantly the co-benefits of mitigation and adaptations in the most vulnerable regions.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge