“Prevailing agricultural practices create a complex interaction between factors known to have a major effect on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice fields, namely, intermittent flooding and use of organic fertilizers.” In some parts of the world, such as China, farmers are largely dependent on nitrogen fertilizers. Under the hot weather conditions of such tropical areas, the organic material tends to decompose faster. This, and the addition of farmyard manure, increases emissions of methane emissions from rice fields.
By flooding a field to produce rice cuts the soil off from access to atmospheric oxygen. As a result the bacteria in the soil undergo anaerobic fermentation of organic material – with one of the major end products of this process being methane, which is release into the atmosphere through the roots and stems of rice plants.
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