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Sharon Rabe


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The State of the Science

Michigan State University has compiled researchers, grants and educational opportunities in one web page to help the public learn more about the changing climate related interests, including biofuels, drought resistance (GMO) and rate of carbon sequestration in various agricultural systems. Learn more about what MSU is researching and what faculty might be able to help answer your questions. As a land grant university, MSU does research topics that are valued by agricultural interests. What would you like to see researched at MSU?

Ag Research Reports and Presentations:

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions in 2009: A Retrospective Review The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently expanded its reporting of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions starting in the fall of 2009. This analysis examines the level and drivers of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2009. Agriculture is not examined in this report and it is helpful to see what sectors are contributing to emissions the US EIA is reporting on.

Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by Agricultural Intensification by Jennifer A. Burney, Steven J. Davisc, and David B. Lobella. The researchers estimated that if it wasn't for increased yields, additional greenhouse gas emissions from clearing land for farming would have been equal to as much as a third of the world's total output of greenhouse gases since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in 1850. Our results dispel the notion that modern, intensive agriculture is inherently worse for the environment than a more 'old-fashioned' way of doing things," said Jennifer Burney, lead author of the paper edited by MSU researcher G. Phillip Robertson and printed in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Clearing the Air: Livestock's Contributions to Climate Change presentation given by Frank Mitloehner, PhD Associate Professor & UC CE Specialist Animal Science, UC Davis at the GABS II conference; ARC, UC Davis, June 1-2, 2009. This 31-slide presentation helps counter many faulty points brought against agriculture.

Critical Analysis of Livestock's Long Shadow. The statistics cited by Livestock's Long Shadow differ significantly from those calculated by other reputable organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - the U.S. authority on the environment and climate change. The claims made about global livestock production are not relevant to the United States.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Dairy Sector: A Life Cycle Assessment. A report prepared by: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Animal Production and Health Division. This report is a result of collaboration between the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to assess GHG emissions from the dairy food chain. The analysis forms part of a wider initiative conducted by FAO to assess GHG emissions from a range of animal food chains.

2008 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry The Agricultural Resource Management Survey of corn growers for the year 2005 and the 2008 survey of dry mill ethanol plants are used to estimate the net energy balance of corn ethanol. This report measures all conventional fossil fuel energy used in the production of 1 gallon of corn ethanol. The ratio is about 2.3 BTU of ethanol for 1 BTU of energy inputs, when a portion of total energy input is allocated to byproduct and fossil fuel is used for processing energy. The ratio is somewhat higher for some firms that are partially substituting biomass energy in processing energy.