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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-5-1-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esdd-5-1-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 02 Jan 2014

Research article | 02 Jan 2014

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.

Historical and future carbon emissions from croplands

S. J. Smith S. J. Smith
  • Joint Global Change Research Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 3500, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Abstract. We examine past and future carbon emissions from global croplands, considering land-use change, changes in crop productivity, tillage practices, and residue removal. We find that emissions over the historical period are sensitive to the assumed productivity of arable land that is not planted in a given year and the assumed fraction of soil carbon that is released during land conversion. The role of this "other" arable land, both at present and over the historical period, is not well understood and should be examined further. The carbon balance of croplands over 21st century depends on changes in management practices, particularly the adoption of conservation tillage and the potential removal of residue for use as energy feedstocks. We find that croplands will not become large carbon sinks in the future, however, unless most crop residue is left on fields. Given the relatively low carbon "penalty" incurred by removal, residue use for energy feedstocks may be the preferred option.

S. J. Smith
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Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Interactive discussion
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
S. J. Smith
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