National Outcome 3: Improved measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gases from the terrestrial biosphere.
New Zealand must meet its international greenhouse gas reporting obligations and decrease net emissions of greenhouse gases from terrestrial systems below ‘business as usual’ levels. To achieve this, it is necessary to have: (i) a robust inventory of net emissions and carbon storage, and (ii) effective mitigation options for reducing net emissions.
Changes in emissions and carbon storage as a consequence of management, land use and global change can then be forecasted and appraised. Research is needed to develop new methodology for measuring soil carbon storage and for reducing uncertainty for estimating and scaling emissions, and quantifying changes in emissions as a consequence of key land-use and management change.
This will allow mitigation strategies to be developed and approaches for increasing carbon storage to be identified and adopted. This is an area in which the science challenges are substantial and we are developing new national and international collaborations to address them. We have a significant role to play and are acknowledged internationally for our expertise in carbon and nitrous oxide science.