Abstract To investigate the greenhouse gases emission from enteric fermentation and manure management of livestock and poultry industry in China, the present study presents a systematic estimation of methane and nitrous oxide emission during 1949–2003, based on the local measurement and IPCC guidelines. As far as greenhouse gases emittion is concerned among livestock swine is found to hold major position followed by goat and sheep, while among poultry chicken has the major place and is followed by duck and geese. Methane emission from enteric fermentation is estimated to have increased from 3.04 Tg in 1949 to 10.13 Tg in 2003, an averaged annual growth rate of 2.2%, and methane emission from manure management has increased from 0.16 Tg in 1949 to 1.06 Tg in 2003, an annual growth rate of 3.5%, while nitrous oxide emission from manure management has increased from 47.76 to 241.2 Gg in 2003, with an annual growth rate of 3.0%. The total greenhouse gas emission has increased from 82.01 Tg CO2 Eq. in 1949 to 309.76 Tg CO2 Eq. in 2003, an annual growth rate of 2.4%. The estimation of livestock methane and nitrous oxide emissions in China from 1949 to 2003 is shown to be consistent with a linear growth model, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emission is thus considered an urgent and arduous task for the Chinese livestock industry.

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