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Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk

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Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk. / Bai, Zhaohai; Lee, Michael R.F.; Ma, Lin; Ledgard, Stewart; Oenema, Oene; Velthof, Gerard L.; Ma, Wenqi; Guo, Mengchu; Zhao, Zhanqing; Wei, Sha; Li, Shengli; Liu, Xia; Havlík, Petr; Luo, Jiafa; Hu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Fusuo.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 24, No. 5, 01.05.2018, p. 2198-2211.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Bai, Z, Lee, MRF, Ma, L, Ledgard, S, Oenema, O, Velthof, GL, Ma, W, Guo, M, Zhao, Z, Wei, S, Li, S, Liu, X, Havlík, P, Luo, J, Hu, C & Zhang, F 2018, 'Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk', Global Change Biology, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 2198-2211. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14047

APA

Bai, Z., Lee, M. R. F., Ma, L., Ledgard, S., Oenema, O., Velthof, G. L., ... Zhang, F. (2018). Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk. Global Change Biology, 24(5), 2198-2211. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14047

Vancouver

Bai Z, Lee MRF, Ma L, Ledgard S, Oenema O, Velthof GL et al. Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk. Global Change Biology. 2018 May 1;24(5):2198-2211. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14047

Author

Bai, Zhaohai ; Lee, Michael R.F. ; Ma, Lin ; Ledgard, Stewart ; Oenema, Oene ; Velthof, Gerard L. ; Ma, Wenqi ; Guo, Mengchu ; Zhao, Zhanqing ; Wei, Sha ; Li, Shengli ; Liu, Xia ; Havlík, Petr ; Luo, Jiafa ; Hu, Chunsheng ; Zhang, Fusuo. / Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk. In: Global Change Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 24, No. 5. pp. 2198-2211.

Bibtex

@article{ad677a675e2145d5a5ec514bf605bf43,
title = "Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk",
abstract = "China has an ever-increasing thirst for milk, with a predicted 3.2-fold increase in demand by 2050 compared to the production level in 2010. What are the environmental implications of meeting this demand, and what is the preferred pathway? We addressed these questions by using a nexus approach, to examine the interdependencies of increasing milk consumption in China by 2050 and its global impacts, under different scenarios of domestic milk production and importation. Meeting China's milk demand in a business as usual scenario will increase global dairy-related (China and the leading milk exporting regions) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35{\%} (from 565 to 764 Tg CO2eq) and land use for dairy feed production by 32{\%} (from 84 to 111 million ha) compared to 2010, while reactive nitrogen losses from the dairy sector will increase by 48{\%} (from 3.6 to 5.4 Tg nitrogen). Producing all additional milk in China with current technology will greatly increase animal feed import; from 1.9 to 8.5 Tg for concentrates and from 1.0 to 6.2 Tg for forage (alfalfa). In addition, it will increase domestic dairy related GHG emissions by 2.2 times compared to 2010 levels. Importing the extra milk will transfer the environmental burden from China to milk exporting countries; current dairy exporting countries may be unable to produce all additional milk due to physical limitations or environmental preferences/legislation. For example, the farmland area for cattle-feed production in New Zealand would have to increase by more than 57{\%} (1.3 million ha) and that in Europe by more than 39{\%} (15 million ha), while GHG emissions and nitrogen losses would increase roughly proportionally with the increase of farmland in both regions. We propose that a more sustainable dairy future will rely on high milk demanding regions (such as China) improving their domestic milk and feed production efficiencies up to the level of leading milk producing countries. This will decrease the global dairy related GHG emissions and land use by 12{\%} (90 Tg CO2eq reduction) and 30{\%} (34 million ha land reduction) compared to the business as usual scenario, respectively. However, this still represents an increase in total GHG emissions of 19{\%} whereas land use will decrease by 8{\%} when compared with 2010 levels, respectively.",
keywords = "cattle feed, greenhouse gas, land use, nitrogen losses, milk trade, shared socio-economic pathways scenarios",
author = "Zhaohai Bai and Lee, {Michael R.F.} and Lin Ma and Stewart Ledgard and Oene Oenema and Velthof, {Gerard L.} and Wenqi Ma and Mengchu Guo and Zhanqing Zhao and Sha Wei and Shengli Li and Xia Liu and Petr Havl{\'i}k and Jiafa Luo and Chunsheng Hu and Fusuo Zhang",
year = "2018",
month = "5",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/gcb.14047",
language = "English",
volume = "24",
pages = "2198--2211",
journal = "Global Change Biology",
issn = "1354-1013",
publisher = "Wiley",
number = "5",

}

RIS - suitable for import to EndNote

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global environmental costs of China's thirst for milk

AU - Bai, Zhaohai

AU - Lee, Michael R.F.

AU - Ma, Lin

AU - Ledgard, Stewart

AU - Oenema, Oene

AU - Velthof, Gerard L.

AU - Ma, Wenqi

AU - Guo, Mengchu

AU - Zhao, Zhanqing

AU - Wei, Sha

AU - Li, Shengli

AU - Liu, Xia

AU - Havlík, Petr

AU - Luo, Jiafa

AU - Hu, Chunsheng

AU - Zhang, Fusuo

PY - 2018/5/1

Y1 - 2018/5/1

N2 - China has an ever-increasing thirst for milk, with a predicted 3.2-fold increase in demand by 2050 compared to the production level in 2010. What are the environmental implications of meeting this demand, and what is the preferred pathway? We addressed these questions by using a nexus approach, to examine the interdependencies of increasing milk consumption in China by 2050 and its global impacts, under different scenarios of domestic milk production and importation. Meeting China's milk demand in a business as usual scenario will increase global dairy-related (China and the leading milk exporting regions) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% (from 565 to 764 Tg CO2eq) and land use for dairy feed production by 32% (from 84 to 111 million ha) compared to 2010, while reactive nitrogen losses from the dairy sector will increase by 48% (from 3.6 to 5.4 Tg nitrogen). Producing all additional milk in China with current technology will greatly increase animal feed import; from 1.9 to 8.5 Tg for concentrates and from 1.0 to 6.2 Tg for forage (alfalfa). In addition, it will increase domestic dairy related GHG emissions by 2.2 times compared to 2010 levels. Importing the extra milk will transfer the environmental burden from China to milk exporting countries; current dairy exporting countries may be unable to produce all additional milk due to physical limitations or environmental preferences/legislation. For example, the farmland area for cattle-feed production in New Zealand would have to increase by more than 57% (1.3 million ha) and that in Europe by more than 39% (15 million ha), while GHG emissions and nitrogen losses would increase roughly proportionally with the increase of farmland in both regions. We propose that a more sustainable dairy future will rely on high milk demanding regions (such as China) improving their domestic milk and feed production efficiencies up to the level of leading milk producing countries. This will decrease the global dairy related GHG emissions and land use by 12% (90 Tg CO2eq reduction) and 30% (34 million ha land reduction) compared to the business as usual scenario, respectively. However, this still represents an increase in total GHG emissions of 19% whereas land use will decrease by 8% when compared with 2010 levels, respectively.

AB - China has an ever-increasing thirst for milk, with a predicted 3.2-fold increase in demand by 2050 compared to the production level in 2010. What are the environmental implications of meeting this demand, and what is the preferred pathway? We addressed these questions by using a nexus approach, to examine the interdependencies of increasing milk consumption in China by 2050 and its global impacts, under different scenarios of domestic milk production and importation. Meeting China's milk demand in a business as usual scenario will increase global dairy-related (China and the leading milk exporting regions) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35% (from 565 to 764 Tg CO2eq) and land use for dairy feed production by 32% (from 84 to 111 million ha) compared to 2010, while reactive nitrogen losses from the dairy sector will increase by 48% (from 3.6 to 5.4 Tg nitrogen). Producing all additional milk in China with current technology will greatly increase animal feed import; from 1.9 to 8.5 Tg for concentrates and from 1.0 to 6.2 Tg for forage (alfalfa). In addition, it will increase domestic dairy related GHG emissions by 2.2 times compared to 2010 levels. Importing the extra milk will transfer the environmental burden from China to milk exporting countries; current dairy exporting countries may be unable to produce all additional milk due to physical limitations or environmental preferences/legislation. For example, the farmland area for cattle-feed production in New Zealand would have to increase by more than 57% (1.3 million ha) and that in Europe by more than 39% (15 million ha), while GHG emissions and nitrogen losses would increase roughly proportionally with the increase of farmland in both regions. We propose that a more sustainable dairy future will rely on high milk demanding regions (such as China) improving their domestic milk and feed production efficiencies up to the level of leading milk producing countries. This will decrease the global dairy related GHG emissions and land use by 12% (90 Tg CO2eq reduction) and 30% (34 million ha land reduction) compared to the business as usual scenario, respectively. However, this still represents an increase in total GHG emissions of 19% whereas land use will decrease by 8% when compared with 2010 levels, respectively.

KW - cattle feed

KW - greenhouse gas

KW - land use, nitrogen losses

KW - milk trade

KW - shared socio-economic pathways scenarios

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041691914&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/gcb.14047

DO - 10.1111/gcb.14047

M3 - Article

VL - 24

SP - 2198

EP - 2211

JO - Global Change Biology

JF - Global Change Biology

SN - 1354-1013

IS - 5

ER -