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Soils and wetlands store both carbon and nitrogen in organic molecules that may be broken down to release CO2, CH4, and N2O via various processes, many of which are linked and interdependent. In addition, the magnitude of these emissions depends on land-management practices and the biophysical environment, as well as the amount of (carbonaceous) organic matter in soils. In addition to CO2 and CH4 fluxes, N2O exchanges between the biosphere and the atmosphere influence global carbon and nitrogen cycling.↩
“Absolute carbon emissions” refers to the total quantity of carbon being emitted rather than the total quantity in relation to some product or property. In contrast, carbon emissions intensity is the amount of carbon emitted per some unit of economic output, such as gross domestic product.↩
All GHGs absorb radiant energy, but two carbon-containing GHGs, CO2 and CH4, are responsible for a large fraction of this effect.↩
Amount of CO2 that would produce the same effect on the radiative balance of Earth’s climate system as another greenhouse gas, such as CH4 or N2O, on a 100-year timescale. For comparison to units of carbon, each kg CO2e is equivalent to 0.273 kg C (0.273 = 1/3.67). See Box P.2, p. 12, in the Preface for details.↩
These values are for CO2 emissions. Ch. 1: Overview of the Global Carbon Cycle further explains and expands on these
estimates and includes consideration of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases, CH4 and N2O.↩
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