Both ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced simultaneously during the management of livestock manure. Although manure management is a source of both kinds of emissions, the interactions between them are often ignored when evaluating and recommending emission abatement options.
In a recent paper published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, researchers quantified the extent of interactions between ammonia and greenhouse gases for prominent emission abatement options. These quantifications can help minimize pollution swapping, wherein reduction of a particular gas through an emission abatement option leads to increased emissions of another gas. In addition, the paper also showed that downstream emission leakages can be avoided by broadening the focus from single-stage abatement approaches to a whole-chain perspective that accounts for the entire manure management chain. This is an improvement over emission abatement studies that limit their scope to a single stage within the manure management chain, leading to emission leakages elsewhere along the chain.
The team found that these insights can improve the effectiveness of emission abatement strategies by reducing the risk of pollution swapping and emission leakages. This is vital in tackling the impact of livestock manure on both air pollution and climate change.