Agriculture shall produce high-grade food and renewable resources in a reliable manner. In future, agricultural production will face increasing pressure to release fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants. International agreements on climate change mitigation and air pollution control oblige Germany to reduce emissions.
As agriculture is the largest source of some greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) - it has a special responsibility for emission reductions. Likewise agricultural land management will decide whether soils are a source or sink of climate relevant CO2-carbon.
We carry out research between the conflicting priorities of agricultural production and climate change mitigation with an interdisciplinary team of scientists. We support the development of resource-efficient, climate-smart and environmentally-friendly agriculture with our research and produce scientifically sound solutions and decision support for policymakers:
Our research approach extends from fields to farms and up to the national level and differentiates by environmental conditions. It comprises our own experimental studies how to quantify and reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants, the co-ordination of national and international research projects, the integrated assessment of research findings, and the modelling and regionalisation of emissions and of the effect of climate change mitigation measures. On the one hand, we aim to elaborate and assess climate change mitigation measures that are effective for the agricultural sector as a whole. On the other hand we tailor measures to regions, processes, farm types and environmental conditions. We see our role as an interdisciplinary task. We therefore include economic and technical assessments in close co-operation with several other Thünen institutes .