Characteristics of greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddy fields in South Korea under climate change scenario RCP-8.5 using the DNDC model

Wonjae HWANG, Chanyang KIM, Kijong CHO, Seunghun HYUN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from rice paddy fields is essential to come up with appropriate countermeasure in response to global warming. However, GHG emissions from paddy fields in South Korea are not well characterized. The objectives of this study were to estimate the carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from rice paddy fields in South Korea, under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP-8.5) climate change scenario using the DNDC (i.e., DeNitrification-DeComposition) model at 1-km2 resolution. The performance of the model was verified with field data collected using a closed chamber, which supports the application of the model to South Korea. Both the model predictions and field measurements showed that most (> 95%) GHG emissions occur in the cropping period, between April and October. As a baseline (assuming no climate change), the national sums of the CO2 and CH4 emissions for the 2020s and 2090s were estimated to be 5.8 × 106 and 6.0 × 106 t CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq) year–1 for CO2 and 6.4 × 106 and 6.6 × 106 t CO2-eq year–1 for CH4, respectively, indicating no significant changes over 80 years. Under RCP-8.5, in the 2090s, CH4 emissions were predicted to increase by 10.7 × 106 and 14.9 × 106 t CO2-eq year–1, for a 10- or 30-cm tillage depth, respectively. However, the CO2 emissions gradually decreased with rising temperatures, due to reduced root respiration. Deep tillage increased the emissions of both GHGs, with a more pronounced effect for CH4 than CO2. Intermittent drainage in the middle of the cropping season can attenuate the CH4 emissions from paddy fields. The findings of this work will aid in developing nationwide policies on agricultural land management in the face of climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-341
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded in part by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE) via the Climate Change Correspondence Program (No. 2014-001310008) and in part by Korea University Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Soil Science Society of China

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • CH
  • CO
  • model performance
  • paddy soil
  • rising temperature
  • tillage depth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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