Rice is a staple food for more than half of the people in the world, and global demand for rice is projected to increase from 644 million tons in 2007 to a projected 827 million tons in 2050. However, rice production is also a major source of the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4). Little is known about the response of yield and CH4 emissions to environmental factors beyond farmers’ direct control, such as atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate change. In this talk, I will discuss some of my research in this area. Through meta-analysis and several large-scale experiments, my colleagues and I have tried to quantify the effects of management practices, rising CO2 concentrations and warming on yield and GHG emissions from rice agriculture. Our results suggest that the effects of warming on rice yields may be smaller than previously thought, because negative effects in some areas are partly negated by positive effects in others. I will also discuss several management practices through which farmers may simultaneously increase rice yields while reducing CH4 emissions, and the central role of soil microbes in making these practices work.
Dr. Kees Jan Van Groenigen is a biogeochemist. Through his research, he tries to increase understanding of how plants and soil respond to and influence environmental change. He has studied carbon and nutrient cycles in a wide range of ecosystems, including grasslands, cropland, temperate forests and rice paddies. He often uses meta-analytic techniques to synthesize findings in his field of research. He also studies the role of soil microbes in carbon and nitrogen cycles, using techniques such as incubation experiments, isotopic tracers and analyses of biomarkers. Till now he has many papers published on top journals, including Nature, Science and PNAS. The h-index in Web of Science is 22. His website is:http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Kees_Jan_van_Groenigen