Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Agricultural greenhouse gases

Anaerobic dairy farm effl uent ponds can account for up to 18% of total farm methane emissions.

Our research provides robust methods to quantify and forecast emissions and removals of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). We combine measurements and models to advance understanding at local (farm) scales of processes regulating emissions and removals of CO2, CH4 and nitrous oxide N2O from New Zealand’s natural and managed terrestrial systems, including pastoral agriculture.

Results of this research will:

  • Explain the characteristics, causes and consequences of spatial and temporal variability in greenhouse gas emissions and removals
  • Demonstrate the accuracy (quantify uncertainty) of current emissions estimates
  • Provide models to predict greenhouse gas emissions under a range of current and future land use and climate scenarios
  • Provide tools (models) to determine the likely success of land-based emissions mitigation projects and reduce emissions liabilities

Current Research

  • Quantifies the spatial, seasonal and inter-annual variability in the net exchange of methane and nitrous oxide at site and paddock scales. Using chamber and micrometeorological methods, we can measure the impact on net emissions of changes in, for example, land-use or management.
  • Develops, tests and validates process-based models to quantify the key processes regulating the net exchange of methane and nitrous oxide in terrestrial systems at site and paddock scales, including variation in climate, environmental and land-use variables.


  • Giltrap DL, Saggar S, Singh J, Harvey M, McMillan AMS, Laubach J 2012. Field-scale verification of nitrous oxide emission reduction with DCD in dairy-grazed pasture using measurements and modelling. Soil Research 49(8): 696-702.
  • Laubach J, Taghizadeh-Toosi A, Sherlock RR, Kelliher FM 2012. Measuring and modelling ammonia emissions from a regular pattern of cattle urine patches. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 156(0): 1-17.
  • Laubach J 2011. Comment on "Determination and mitigation of ammonia loss from urea applied to winter wheat with N-(n-butyl) thiophosphorictriamide" Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 137 (2010) 261-266. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 142(3-4): 439-441. <Go to ISI>://WOS:000295245100038
  • Laubach J 2010. Testing of a Lagrangian model of dispersion in the surface layer with cattle methane emissions. Agricultural and forest meteorology 150(11): 1428-1442.
  • Laubach J, Kelliher FM, Knight TW, Clark H, Molano G, Cavanagh A 2008. Methane emissions from beef cattle - a comparison of paddock-and animal-scale measurements. Australian journal of experimental agriculture 48(1-2): 132-137.
  • Laubach J, Kelliher FM 2005. Measuring methane emission rates of a dairy cow herd II: results from a backward-Lagrangian stochastic model. Agricultural and forest meteorology 129(3-4): 137-150.
  • Laubach J, Kelliher FM 2005. Methane emissions from dairy cows: comparing open-path laser measurements to profile-based techniques. Agricultural and forest meteorology 135: 340-345.
  • Laubach J, Kelliher FM 2004. Measuring methane emission rates of a dairy cow herd by two micrometeorological techniques. Agricultural and forest meteorology 125(3-4): 279-303.
  • Laubach J, Fritsch H 2002/6/30. Convective boundary layer budgets derived from aircraft data. Agricultural and forest meteorology 111(4): 237-263.
All Publications