Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

New Zealand is a member of the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the Global Research Alliance?

The Mission of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) is to bring countries together to find ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions. It was launched in December 2009.

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How is New Zealand involved in the GRA?

New Zealand is a founding member, the current GRA Secretariat, is one of the Co-Chairs of the Livestock Research Group, and was GRA Council Chair (2011-2012).

The New Zealand Government committed $45 million to the work of the GRA in 2010 and in 2016 announced a further 20 million out to June 2020 to fund research in the area of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation in pasture based temporal livestock systems.

New Zealand is represented in the GRA by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), working closely with the environment and climate change groups from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). MPI contracts the NZAGRC to manage New Zealand’s involvement in the Livestock Research Group and New Zealand’s GRA science research activities.

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What is the GRA Livestock Research Group?

The Livestock Research Group (LRG) is focused on reducing the emissions intensity of livestock production systems and increasing the quantity of carbon stored in soils supporting those systems.

The LRG is co-chaired by NZAGRC Director Dr Harry Clark and Dr Sinead Waters from Teagasc Ireland.

The LRG Vision is to:

  1. Increase agriculture production with lower emissions
  2. Improve global cooperation in research & technology
  3. Work with farmers and partners to provide knowledge

Read below for details on the workings of the LRG and GRA.

For more information on the group check out the December 2018 LRG newsletter at: 

Nitrous oxide emissions from grazing cattle urine patches: Bridging the gap between measurement and stakeholder requirements

F.J. Cook, F.M. Kelliher, Nitrous oxide emissions from grazing cattle urine patches: Bridging the gap between measurement and stakeholder requirements, Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 75, January 2016, Pages 133-152, ISSN 1364-8152,

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas and a precursor to compounds which deplete stratospheric ozone. Agricultural soils are the principal anthropogenic N2O source, which includes urine patches of cattle fed by grazing pasture. While such N2O emissions can be measured, involved time and space scales are usually only minutes and metres, respectively. Nevertheless, climate change stakeholders need large-scale national emissions over time to construct annual N2O emissions inventories for international treaty compliance requirements. We have developed a mathematical model to bridge the gap between measurement and stakeholder requirements for N2O emissions from grazing cattle urine patches.

Our methodology begins with the emissions from a patch. Convolution integrals are then used to spatially and temporally scale the emissions from discrete grazing events to paddock, farm and region levels across the year. The model developed shows how the emissions are smoothed out with scaling and the implications from the scaling.

Keywords: Nitrous oxide; Scaling; Urine patches; Inventories; Greenhouse gases

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