Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change

@article{Searchinger2008UseOU,
  title={Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change},
  author={Timothy D. Searchinger and Ralph E. Heimlich and Richard A. Houghton and Fengxia Dong and Amani Elobeid and Jacinto F. Fabiosa and Simla Tokgoz and Dermot J. Hayes and Tun-hsiang Yu},
  journal={Science},
  year={2008},
  volume={319},
  pages={1238 - 1240}
}
Most prior studies have found that substituting biofuels for gasoline will reduce greenhouse gases because biofuels sequester carbon through the growth of the feedstock. These analyses have failed to count the carbon emissions that occur as farmers worldwide respond to higher prices and convert forest and grassland to new cropland to replace the grain (or cropland) diverted to biofuels. By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based… 
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Converting rainforests, peatlands, savannas, or grasslands to produce food crop–based biofuels in Brazil, Southeast Asia, and the United States creates a “biofuel carbon debt” by releasing 17 to 420 times more CO2 than the annual greenhouse gas reductions that these biofuel reductions would provide by displacing fossil fuels.
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