3.2.2 Activity data x emission/removal factor tools
There are three main tools that have been developed around the activity data x emission/removal factor method(1): EXACT , ALU and IPCC tools . The IPCC and ALU tools have gained widespread use and are being continually updated to ensure compliance with good practice. Both generate outputs that meet the requirements of the 2006GL.
Tabulated activity data generated from remote sensing observations can be entered into all of these tools. The ALU tool (Box 12) is also capable of using GIS data to develop spatially-explicit estimates of emissions, but is not able to support the more sophisticated pixel or stand-based approaches and cannot easily track multiple changes in land use on a single land unit.
Box 12: Agriculture and land use greenhouse gas inventory (ALU) software
The agriculture and land use greenhouse gas inventory (ALU) software guides an inventory compiler through the process of estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals related to agricultural and forestry activities. The software simplifies the process of conducting the inventory by dividing the inventory analysis into steps to facilitate the compilation of activity data, assignment of emission/removal factors and completion of the calculations. The software also has internal checks to ensure data integrity. Many governments also have an interest in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forestry. Determining mitigation potential requires an understanding of both current emission trends and the influence of alternative land use and management practices on future emissions. The ALU software program is designed to support an evaluation of mitigation potentials using the inventory data as a baseline for projecting emission trends associated with management alternatives.
ALU can be used to estimate emissions and removals associated with biomass C stocks, soil C stocks, soil nitrous oxide emissions, rice methane emissions, enteric methane emissions, manure methane and nitrous oxide emissions, as well as non-CO2 GHG emissions from biomass burning. Methods are based on IPCC guidelines.
Two versions of the ALU software are available:
- Version 5.0 based on the methods in the 2006GL
- Version 4.5 based on the methods in the revised 96GL and refined in the 2000 and GPG2003.
The software has several innovative features including:
- Accommodates Tier 1 and 2 methods as defined by the IPCC
- Allows compilers to integrate GIS spatial data along with national statistics on agriculture and forestry
- Designed to produce a consistent and complete representation of land use for inventory assessment
- Can develop an enhanced characterization for livestock
- Has explicit quality control and quality assurance steps
- Provides a long-term archive of data and results in digital format
- Generates emission reports that can be included in communications with interested parties.
These tools typically support Tier 1, and in some cases, Tier 2 methods