Minimizing Farming Impacts on Climate Change by Enhancing Carbon and Nitrogen Capture and Storage in Agro-Ecosystems

Closed for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

29 May 2014



Start Date

12 September 2014

Expected End Date

11 September 2019

Completed Date

30 July 2019


This CRP will explore potential farming practices under different agro-ecosystems to enhance soil carbon accumulation-sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Its main objectives are to (i) develop land management practices for reducing soil carbon depletion and enhancing soil carbon and nitrogen capture and storage, (ii) identify factors that influence GHG emissions from farmlands, and (iii) develop soil-water-nutrient management guidelines to   enhance soil carbon and nitrogen capture and storage. Stable isotopic signatures of nitrogen-15 and carbon-13 will be used to identify sources of  carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and accumulation of carbon and nitrogen under different land uses


To mitigate nitrous oxide emissions and minimise nitrogen losses from agricultural systems whilst enhancing agricultural productivity and sequestering soil C.

Specific objectives

To quantify N2 and N2O emissions simultaneously using 15N technique in selected agricultural systems

To quantify N2O emissions only in agricultural systems

To quantify soil nitrogen transformation rates (using 15N) and to assess efficiency of N process inhibitors/biochar used to manipulate them

To specify and test mitigation options (N process inhibitors/biochar) to decrease N2O fluxes to atmosphere


Some participating CSIs including Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Iran and Pakistan reported the emission factor of GHGs from agriculture as well as identified mitigation options. The CRP also identified two microbial processes of N2O production. A new low-cost field method was developed to measure ammonia emission which is a secondary source of GHGs. Several master and PhD students in China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Germany completed their studies under this CRP. Four success stories were published on IAEA website. Through this CRP a working group of leading scientists in Asia, Europe and America was established to write a book that provides protocols, methodologies and standard operating procedures stemming from the most recent research and technology development on GHGs emissions in a variety of agroecosystems. This book will be published in Springer as“ Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques” in November 2020.


The tangible results of this CRP led one regional technical cooperation project in Asia and three national technical cooperation projects.

CRP Publications

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