Rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions from the adoption of industrial-scale aquaculture

Junji Yuan, Jian Xiang, Deyan Liu, Hojeong Kang, Tiehu He, Sunghyun Kim, Yongxin Lin, Chris Freeman, Weixin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fisheries capture has plateaued, creating ever-greater reliance on aquaculture to feed growing populations. Aquaculture volumes now exceed those of capture fisheries globally 1,2 , with China dominating production through major land-use change; more than half of Chinese freshwater aquaculture systems have been converted from paddy fields 1,3 . However, the greenhouse gas implications of this expansion have yet to be effectively quantified. Here, we measure year-round methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from paddy fields and new, extensively managed crab aquaculture ponds. The conversion increased associated global warming potentials from 8.15 ± 0.43 to 28.0 ± 4.1 MgCO 2 eq ha −1 , primarily due to increased CH 4 emissions. After compiling a worldwide database of different freshwater aquaculture systems, the top 21 producers were estimated to release 6.04 ± 1.17 TgCH 4 and 36.7 ± 6.1 GgN 2 O in 2014. We found that 80.3% of the total CH 4 emitted originated in shallow earthen aquaculture systems, with far lower emissions from intensified systems with continuous aeration 4 . We therefore propose that greater adoption of aerated systems is urgently required to address globally significant rises in CH 4 emissions from the conversion of paddy fields to aquaculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1

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aquaculture system
aquaculture
greenhouse gas
paddy field
fishery
nitrous oxide
aeration
land use change
crab
global warming
pond
carbon dioxide
methane
producer
land use
China

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Yuan, Junji ; Xiang, Jian ; Liu, Deyan ; Kang, Hojeong ; He, Tiehu ; Kim, Sunghyun ; Lin, Yongxin ; Freeman, Chris ; Ding, Weixin. / Rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions from the adoption of industrial-scale aquaculture. In: Nature Climate Change. 2019 ; Vol. 9, No. 4. pp. 318-322.
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abstract = "Fisheries capture has plateaued, creating ever-greater reliance on aquaculture to feed growing populations. Aquaculture volumes now exceed those of capture fisheries globally 1,2 , with China dominating production through major land-use change; more than half of Chinese freshwater aquaculture systems have been converted from paddy fields 1,3 . However, the greenhouse gas implications of this expansion have yet to be effectively quantified. Here, we measure year-round methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from paddy fields and new, extensively managed crab aquaculture ponds. The conversion increased associated global warming potentials from 8.15 ± 0.43 to 28.0 ± 4.1 MgCO 2 eq ha −1 , primarily due to increased CH 4 emissions. After compiling a worldwide database of different freshwater aquaculture systems, the top 21 producers were estimated to release 6.04 ± 1.17 TgCH 4 and 36.7 ± 6.1 GgN 2 O in 2014. We found that 80.3{\%} of the total CH 4 emitted originated in shallow earthen aquaculture systems, with far lower emissions from intensified systems with continuous aeration 4 . We therefore propose that greater adoption of aerated systems is urgently required to address globally significant rises in CH 4 emissions from the conversion of paddy fields to aquaculture.",
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Yuan, J, Xiang, J, Liu, D, Kang, H, He, T, Kim, S, Lin, Y, Freeman, C & Ding, W 2019, 'Rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions from the adoption of industrial-scale aquaculture', Nature Climate Change, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 318-322. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0425-9

Rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions from the adoption of industrial-scale aquaculture. / Yuan, Junji; Xiang, Jian; Liu, Deyan; Kang, Hojeong; He, Tiehu; Kim, Sunghyun; Lin, Yongxin; Freeman, Chris; Ding, Weixin.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 9, No. 4, 01.04.2019, p. 318-322.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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T1 - Rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions from the adoption of industrial-scale aquaculture

AU - Yuan, Junji

AU - Xiang, Jian

AU - Liu, Deyan

AU - Kang, Hojeong

AU - He, Tiehu

AU - Kim, Sunghyun

AU - Lin, Yongxin

AU - Freeman, Chris

AU - Ding, Weixin

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N2 - Fisheries capture has plateaued, creating ever-greater reliance on aquaculture to feed growing populations. Aquaculture volumes now exceed those of capture fisheries globally 1,2 , with China dominating production through major land-use change; more than half of Chinese freshwater aquaculture systems have been converted from paddy fields 1,3 . However, the greenhouse gas implications of this expansion have yet to be effectively quantified. Here, we measure year-round methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from paddy fields and new, extensively managed crab aquaculture ponds. The conversion increased associated global warming potentials from 8.15 ± 0.43 to 28.0 ± 4.1 MgCO 2 eq ha −1 , primarily due to increased CH 4 emissions. After compiling a worldwide database of different freshwater aquaculture systems, the top 21 producers were estimated to release 6.04 ± 1.17 TgCH 4 and 36.7 ± 6.1 GgN 2 O in 2014. We found that 80.3% of the total CH 4 emitted originated in shallow earthen aquaculture systems, with far lower emissions from intensified systems with continuous aeration 4 . We therefore propose that greater adoption of aerated systems is urgently required to address globally significant rises in CH 4 emissions from the conversion of paddy fields to aquaculture.

AB - Fisheries capture has plateaued, creating ever-greater reliance on aquaculture to feed growing populations. Aquaculture volumes now exceed those of capture fisheries globally 1,2 , with China dominating production through major land-use change; more than half of Chinese freshwater aquaculture systems have been converted from paddy fields 1,3 . However, the greenhouse gas implications of this expansion have yet to be effectively quantified. Here, we measure year-round methane (CH 4 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from paddy fields and new, extensively managed crab aquaculture ponds. The conversion increased associated global warming potentials from 8.15 ± 0.43 to 28.0 ± 4.1 MgCO 2 eq ha −1 , primarily due to increased CH 4 emissions. After compiling a worldwide database of different freshwater aquaculture systems, the top 21 producers were estimated to release 6.04 ± 1.17 TgCH 4 and 36.7 ± 6.1 GgN 2 O in 2014. We found that 80.3% of the total CH 4 emitted originated in shallow earthen aquaculture systems, with far lower emissions from intensified systems with continuous aeration 4 . We therefore propose that greater adoption of aerated systems is urgently required to address globally significant rises in CH 4 emissions from the conversion of paddy fields to aquaculture.

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