Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2015, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (9): 1071-1079.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1047.2015.01072

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An Analysis of the Spatial Variations and Seasonal Changes of Methane Emission from Cattle in China

BIAN Junyan1,2, WANG Xinsheng1, ZHANG Wen2,*   

  1. 1. College of Resources and Environmental Science, Hubei University,Wuhan 430062, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2014-04-09 Revised:2015-05-12 Online:2015-09-10 Published:2015-09-07
  • Contact: ZHANG Wen
  • About author:

    *The author: SHEN Jingwei,


Ruminant livestock accounts for the major proportion of methane emissions within the agricultural sector. In China, cattle dominates the livestock due to its huge population and large size in comparison to sheep. The latest studies have paid little attention to the spatial variations and seasonal changes of the livestock methane emission factors, though a lot of direct measurements and modeling estiamtions have been made to improve the quality of the national inventories. In this study, we analyzed the spatial variarions and seasonal changes of the methane emission factors of cattle by studing the spatio-temporal differences in the body weight for 46 cattle species, the feeding and diet, and the draft and milk production in different places of China are also discussed . The Tier 2 equations of IPCC (2006) were used to calculate the methane emission factors from both the enteric and the manure management emissions. The calculation showed that the enteric emission factor was general low in summer (4.48 kg head-1 month-1) and high in other seasons, while the emission from manure management was high in summer (0.44 kg head-1 month-1) and low in other seasons. Spatially, northwestern China has a higher enteric methane emission factor (71.0 kg head-1 year-1) than southwestern China (55.2 kg head-1 year-1). The methane emission factor from manure management was low (0.1 kg head-1 year-1) in Tibetan plateau and high (5.4 kg head-1 year-1) in southeastern China.

Key words: cattle, methane, emission factor, spatial variation, seasonal change