Calculations of gaseous and particulate emissions from German agriculture 1990-2016 report on methods and data (RMD) submission 2018.


The report at hand (including a comprehensive annex of data) serves as additional document to the National Inventory Report (NIR) on the German green house gas emissions and the Informative Inventory Report (IIR) on the German emissions of air pollutants (especially ammonia). The report documents the calculation methods used in the German agricultural inventory model GAS-EM as well as input data, emission results and uncertainties of the emission reporting submission 2018 for the years 1990-2016. In this context the sector Agriculture comprises the emissions from animal husbandry, the use of agricultural soils and anaerobic digestion of energy crops. As required by the guidelines, emissions from activities preceding agriculture, from the use of energy and from land use change are reported elsewhere in the national inventories. The calculation methods are based in principle on the international guidelines for emission reporting and have been continuingly improved during the past years by the Thunen Institute working group on agricultural emission inventories, partly in cooperation with KTBL. In particular, these improvements concern the calculation of energy requirements, feeding and the N balance of the most important animal categories. In addition, technical measures such as air scrubbing (mitigation of ammonia emissions) and digestion of animal manures (mitigation of emissions of methane and laughing gas) have been taken into account. For the calculation of emissions from anaerobic digestion of animal manures and energy crops (including spreading of the digestate), the aforementioned working group developed, in cooperation with KTBL, a national methodology. Total emissions of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from German agriculture (including the anaerobic digestion of energy crops) decreased by 17,8% from about 79.4 Tg CO2eq in 1990 to about 65.2 Tg CO2eq in 2016. The emission reduction is a consequence of the following emission changes of partial sources (rounded figures): decrease of 10.2 Tg CO2eq (-29.4%) as CH4 from enteric fermentation, decrease of 1.9 Tg CO2eq (-23.9%) as CH4 and N2O from manure management, increase of 1.6 Tg CO2eq as CH4 and N2O from anaerobic digestion of energy crops (digester + storage of digestate; 1990: 0 Tg), decrease of 2.0 Tg CO2eq (-6.9%) as N2O from agricultural soils, decrease of 0.8 Tg CO2eq (-27.8%) as CO2 from liming (agriculture and forest), increase of 0.3 Tg CO2eq (+71.1%) as CO2 from application of urea. The decrease of emissions is partly due to the decrease of animal numbers of dairy cows and other cattle. An additional reason, especially since 2004, is the increasing impact of the anaerobic digestion of animal manures and the increasing frequency of gastight storage of the digestion residues. The NH3 time series is a result of counteracting processes. One of the important governing quantities is the animal number the decrease of which after the German reunification is the main reason for the considerable decrease of the emissions from 1991 to 1992. Mitigation measures like emission-reduced storage and application of manure led to a reduction of emissions in subsequent years. However, opposite trends are caused by increase of animal performance and, for some years, animal numbers. In addition, emissions from application of synthetic fertilizer are higher than in 1990, even though the amount of synthetic fertilizer applied decreased (in units of nitrogen). The observed increase of emissions is due to the increasing share of urea, as urea has a considerably higher emission factor than other synthetic fertilizers. A great part of the increase of NH3 emissions in the past years is due to the increasing use of anaerobic digestion of energy crops. Emissions originating from anaerobic digestion of energy crops and spreading of the pertinent digestate are reported, but they are not considered with regard to compliance of the total German emissions with the NEC ceilings (Adjustment). Omitting the emissions originating from anaerobic digestion of energy crops and spreading of the pertinent digestate, the 2016 NH3 emissions of the German agriculture were 568.2 Gg, which is 20.2% lower than in 1990 where the emissions amounted to 711.6 Gg. While anaerobic digestion of energy crops (including spreading of the resulting digestate) was negligible in 1990, it led to NH3 emissions of 61.1 Gg in 2016. Hence, total NH3 emissions from agriculture in 2016 were 629.2 Gg, which is 11.6% less than 1990.

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