Agriculture shall produce high-grade food and renewable resources in a reliable manner. In future, agricultural production will face increasing pressure to release fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants. International agreements on climate change mitigation and air pollution control oblige Germany to reduce emissions.
As agriculture is the largest source of some greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) - it has a special responsibility for emission reductions. Likewise agricultural land management will decide whether soils are a source or sink of climate relevant CO2-carbon.
We carry out research between the conflicting priorities of agricultural production and climate change mitigation with an interdisciplinary team of scientists. We support the development of resource-efficient, climate-smart and environmentally-friendly agriculture with our research and produce scientifically sound solutions and decision support for policymakers:
- We assess how agricultural production methods, land use and agricultural policy measures affect emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants.
- We analyse the formation and turnover of greenhouse gases in agriculture.
- We carry out the National Agricultural Soil Survey, which enables us for the first time to systematically quantify the organic matter stocks in German agricultural soils.
- We annually compile the national greenhouse gas inventory for the sectors agriculture and land use as part of the German reports under international climate conventions.
- We develop strategies for climate change mitigation in agriculture.