A comparative analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of wheat and beef in the United States

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Title
A comparative analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of wheat and beef in the United States
Title of Series
Author
Sanders, Kelly Twomey
Webber, Michael E.
License
CC Attribution 3.0 Unported:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI
Publisher
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Release Date
2014
Language
English

Content Metadata

Subject Area
Abstract
The US food system utilizes large quantities of liquid fuels, electricity, and chemicals yielding significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are not considered in current retail prices, especially when the contribution of biogenic emissions is considered. However, because GHG emissions might be assigned a price in prospective climate policy frameworks, it would be useful to know the extent to which those policies would increase the incremental production costs to food within the US food system. This analysis uses lifecycle assessment (LCA) to (1) estimate the magnitude of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions from typical US food production practices, using wheat and beef as examples, and (2) quantify the cost of those emissions in the context of a GHG-pricing regime over a range of policy constructs. Wheat and beef were chosen as benchmark staples to provide a representative range of less intensive and more intensive agricultural goods, respectively. Results suggest that 1.1 ± 0.13 and 31 ± 8.1 kg of lifecycle CO2e emissions are embedded in 1 kg of wheat and beef production, respectively. Consequently, the cost of lifecycle CO2e emissions for wheat (i.e. cultivation, processing, transportation, storage, and end-use preparation) over an emissions price range of 10 and 85 per tonne CO2e is estimated to be between 0.01 and 0.09 per kg of wheat, respectively, which would increase total wheat production costs by approximately 0.3–2% per kg. By comparison, the estimated lifecycle CO2e price of beef over the same range of CO2e prices is between 0.31 and 2.60 per kg of beef, representing a total production cost increase of approximately 5–40% per kg based on average 2010 food prices. This range indicates that the incremental cost to total US food production might be anywhere between 0.63–5.4 Billion per year for grain and 3.70 and 32 Billion per year for beef based on CO2e emissions assuming that total production volumes stay the same.
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decades for its more energy intensive techniques concealed in portable embedded food supply United States but this abundant food supply has come with some downsides that are not included in retail food prices such as air and water quality impacts the induced changes and additional greenhouse gas emissions in this analysis we quantify the energy and greenhouse gas emissions that are embedded in 1 kilogram of lead and 1 kilogram of beef produced in the United States as well as the total emissions that are embedded in the 6 billion kilograms of wheat and a 12 billion kilograms of beef that we produced annually in the United States we then apply a the carbon price to those
greenhouse gasses to estimated the additional cost that might be incurred life-cycle emissions were included in the cost of the to perform this analysis we step through 7 stages of the production including agricultural production food manufacturing food packaging food-service facilities for food sales facilities residential to preparation and transportation results are presented in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents 1 which is a normalized international standard reporting greenhouse gasses the 1st stages of agricultural production the greenhouse gas emissions at the forum for me production depend on fertilizer application rates we management practices such as telling improper teachers so it'll biology local climate equipment efficiency and fossil fuel and that such as diesel detractors the mission for raising beef cattle vary widely depend on growing and harvesting the the length and frequency of feeding patents the animal housing and manure storage in the case of the enteric fermentation fancy term for cowbird in a menu management were especially large sources of methane and nitrous oxide which had 25 and 290 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide respectively over a hundred years from horizon the mission that occur after the farm
and merely depend on the quantity and type of fossil fuels consumed and reached the agricultural products scientifically chapter of result to food processing and food packaging facilities that use natural gas and
electricity to prepare the infant and consumer and typically transported again galaxies all to a distribution center for retail sales facility for commercial food service establishments that uses a lot to do with the duration of course selling to a residential and consumer who might use natural
gas or electricity to compare the back to you all of this information into analysis our results indicate that
1 comma decimal 1 and 31 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents for embedded hurtful of wheat and beef 1st perspective the mean and that makes 20 times more emissions-intensive than the average and the majority of the submissions occurred at the agricultural production stage box suffered when total production was considered emissions per United States wheat and beef were approximately 60 Korea and 317 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide of of what's perspective we can 2010 so if it cost there's a price on carbon to answer this question we applied in emissions the ranging from 10 dollars to 85 dollars per ton of carbon dioxide equivalents the incremental costs for that range of C O 2 prices range from 1 to 10 to 9 cents per kilogram production and between 31 cents into dollars and 60 cents per kilogram Furby production the total annual cost incurred range from 0 comma decimal 6 3 5 comma decimal 4 billion dollars for a 98 reproduction and 3 comma decimal 7 to 32 billion must always remain states the fraction in summary our work of firms that believe is much more energy and emissions intensity and and that carbon emissions are assigned a price the first-order cost of wheat and beef production would increase nontrivial each unless the new system changes it's not it's the office would like to thank the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program for their support of this work the
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