IoT-Driven Modeling System for Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Canadian Agriculture Sector

"Agriculture significantly fuels anthropogenic global warming and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could play a significant role in mitigating climate change. In 2020, agriculture contributed about 8.2% (55 Mt CO2 eq) to Canada's total GHG emissions. Notably, significant increases in major GHGs like nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) are primarily linked to the amplified use of nitrogen fertilizers and rising livestock populations, respectively. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or absorption in agricultural soils result from land use changes, residue decomposition, and organic matter in the soil. Conversely, deteriorated ambient air quality drastically reduces agricultural yields by 30–60%, depending on the type of pollutants present.

Understanding the intricate relationship between agricultural practices and air pollution is imperative. The proposed research aims to quantify GHG emissions from farming while examining air pollution's impact on crops, facilitating strategies for sustainable agricultural practices and improved air quality. The goal is to develop and implement sustainable agricultural strategies that contribute to improved air quality. Thus, (1) the proposed research aims to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based monitoring by employing an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network. The GIS platform will deliver real-time data on GHG emissions arising from farming practices and comprehensive insights into soil moisture and temperature dynamics in crop management activities. (2) Development of a life cycle analysis (LCA) based air quality modeling system to quantify GHG emissions and predict their transport under varied climatic conditions. (3) Development of a decision-making tool to evaluate the best management practices, using the GIS-based dataset.

The expected primary outcomes will deliver quantification of greenhouse gas emissions across diverse farming stages, highlighting the influence of pivotal management strategies like nitrogen inhibitors and forage management techniques. The proposed research approach seeks to empower informed decision-making, fostering the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices to move closer to achieving net zero emissions, while making proactive, and environmentally conscious choices within the agricultural sector."


Asif Zunaira at University of New Brunswick (Saint John campus)

December 31, 2023 – March 31, 2025