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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2011, Article ID 190234, 7 pages
Research Article

Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Methane Emissions from a Dairy Operation in North China Plain

1College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China
2Baoding Municipal Environmental Monitoring Station, Baoding 071000, China
3College of Animal Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071000, China
4College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijng 100193, China
5Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0C6

Received 22 August 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Hann-Ming Henry Juang

Copyright © 2011 Zhiling Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In China, dairy cattle managed in collective feedlots contribute about 30% of the milk production and are believed to be an important contributor to national methane emissions. Methane emissions from a collective dairy feedlot in North China Plain (NCP) were measured during the winter, spring, summer, and fall seasons with open-path lasers in combination with an inverse dispersion technique. Methane emissions from the selected dairy feedlot were characterized by an apparent diurnal pattern with three peaks corresponding to the schedule of feeding activities. On a per capita basis, daily methane emission rates of these four seasons were 0.28, 0.32, 0.33, and 0.30 kg head−1 d−1, respectively. In summary, annual methane emission rate was 112.4 kg head−1 yr−1 associated with methane emission intensity of 32.65 L CH4 L−1 of milk and potential methane conversion factor Ym of 6.66% of gross energy intake for mature dairy cows in North China Plain.