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Project AC0114 – Data synthesis, modelling and management

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Project AC0114 is managed as a collaborative project through an Expert Steering Group made up of the following principal investigators from the project partners:

Dr Steven Anthony (ADAS UK Ltd – Project Manager)
Dr Tom Misselbrook (North Wyke Research – WP 1 Lead)
Dr Kairsty Topp (Scottish Agricultural College – WP 2 Lead)
Dr Adrian Williams (Cranfield University – Science Director and WP 3 Lead)
Dr Ulli Dragosits (CEH Edinburgh – WP 4 Lead)
Professor Andy Whitmore (Rothamsted Research – WP 5 Lead)
Mr Laurence Smith (Organic Research Centre – WP 6 KE Lead)
Dr Eileen Wall (Scottish Agricultural College – WP 7 Lead)
Professor Pete Smith (Aberdeen University)
Dr Catherine Watson (AFBI-NI)
Dr Les Crompton (Reading University)

The AC0114 project will span January 2011 to June 2015 and is composed of 7 separate work packages:

WP 1 Inventory Requirements and Structure

This work package will liaise with stakeholders and data providers to define the structure and methodology of an improved methane and nitrous oxide emissions calculation, ensuring that the reporting capability of an improved Inventory system is designed to meet the multiple objectives of national reporting under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), tracking progress against national targets under the Climate Change Act 2008, and informing industry, researchers and other stakeholders. The work package will hold three Stakeholder Workshops  in 2011 to 2014 to allow for contributions to the development of the improvement methodology and provide early access to results.

The first stakeholder workshop was held in March 2011 in Birmingham, with the aim of gathering feedback on the farm systems proposed for inclusion within the inventory and to gather recommendations on the mitigation methods that will need to be captured through the reporting:

WP 2 Emissions Factor Synthesis

This work package will develop an integrated archive of UK based measurements of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from which to derive revised and new country specific emission factors. This work will involve collation of existing government funded experimental data and an international literature review of baseline emissions and the effectiveness of mitigation practices. The work will be supported by the use of computer models to aid interpretation of the experimental data and prediction of the impacts of, for example, spatially variable soil and climate conditions on nitrous oxide emissions from applied fertiliser and manure nitrogen, and the impacts of level of feed intake and dietary supplements for enteric methane emissions from livestock. 

This work package will develop an integrated archive of UK based measurements of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from which to derive revised and new country specific emission factors. This work will involve collation of existing government funded experimental data and an international literature review of baseline emissions and the effectiveness of mitigation practices. The work will be supported by the use of computer models to aid interpretation of the experimental data and prediction of the impacts of, for example, spatially variable soil and climate conditions on nitrous oxide emissions from applied fertiliser and manure nitrogen, and the impacts of level of feed intake and dietary supplements for enteric methane emissions from livestock. 


WP 3 Farm Practice Synthesis

This work package will develop an archive of farm practice or activity data for representative farm systems in the UK, including information on fertiliser inputs; fertiliser and manure management; livestock feeding and breeding practices; and industry trends on the adoption of key mitigation practices such as anaerobic digestion and increased efficiency of nitrogen use.  These data will be key to representing the impact of changes in farm practice on methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Whilst the work package intends to make best use of existing national surveys and industry monitoring data, it is recognised that not all aspects of UK agriculture are adequately surveyed. Therefore, we will also scope a UK wide systematic survey of farm practices targeted at meeting the future needs of an improved gaseous emissions calculation methodology.

WP 4 Agriculture, Soil and Climate

This work package will support the development of improved methane and nitrous oxide emissions calculation methodology by the provision of map based information on the distribution of crops and livestock across the UK, and data on the distribution and properties of local soils and climate conditions that affect emissions. In particular, we will develop a UK dataset of the extent of agricultural field under-drainage as nitrous oxide emissions are known to be especially sensitive to the frequency and duration of soil wetness. We will also investigate the potential for disaggregating the UK agricultural survey and linking it to other farm practice and output datasets, such as information on national slaughter weight statistics, to enable emissions to be related to both inputs and outputs and therefore track changes in the efficiency of greenhouse gas production.

WP 5 Uncertainty Framework

This work package will develop a methodology to calculate the uncertainty in the improved and spatially explicit methodology for calculating methane and nitrous oxide emissions from UK agriculture. This will involve an assessment of the uncertainty in both the emissions factors and the data on agricultural inputs and farm practices that determine the selection of an emission factor, such as the choice of a slurry or solid manure management system.  A key objective of this work package will be to ensure that the information on uncertainty is effectively communicated to the different users of the emissions inventory. Feedback from formal consultation and a stakeholder workshop will be used to develop guidance on best practice for reporting calculated emissions and a plain English explanation of the sources of uncertainty.

WP 6 Management and Knowledge Exchange

This work package is responsible for the management of the project, reporting to the Defra Secretariat and coordinating the delivery of the work packages through an Expert Steering Group made up of the Work Package Leaders and representatives from each project partner and. The work package is also responsible for Knowledge Exchange with the agricultural industry and scientific community. Activities include consultation with industry groups on requirements and the sharing of information; presentation at scientific meetings and influencing other research programmes; dissemination of reports and the maintenance of this web-site.

WP 7 Data Management

This work package is responsible for developing a formal data model and permanent archive for the storage and documentation of the experimental, survey and model based data collated by all three Platform projects. The work package will focus on the preparation of extensive meta-data for all components of an improved inventory calculation, enabling a formal audit of the evidence base for revised and new emission factors. We also intend to provide packages of all field experimental data as a resource for future government funded modelling studies.
 
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