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Abstract

The reports of Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change indicate that the growing emission of greenhouse gases, produced from the combustion of fossil fuels, mainly carbon dioxide, leads to negative climate changes. Therefore, the methods of mitigating the greenhouse gases emission to the atmosphere, especially of carbon dioxide, are being sought. Numerous studies are focused on so-called geological sequestration, i.e. injecting carbon dioxide to appropriate geological strata or ocean waters. One of the methods, which are not fully utilized, is the application of appropriate techniques in agriculture. The plant production in agriculture is based on the absorption of carbon dioxide in the photosynthesis process. Increasing the plant production directly leads to the absorption of carbon dioxide. Therefore, investigation of carbon dioxide absorption by particular crops is a key issue. In Poland, ca. 7.6 mln ha of cereals is cultivated, including: rye, wheat, triticale, oat and barley. These plants absorb approximately 23.8 mln t C annually, including 9.8 mln t C/yr in grains, 9.4 mln t C/yr in straw and 4.7 mln t C/yr in roots. The China, these cereals are cultivated on the area over 24 mln ha and absorb 98.9 mln t C/yr, including 55 mln tC/yr in grains, 36 in straw, and 7.9 mln t C/yr in roots. The second direction for mitigating the carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere involves substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources to deliver primary energy. Cultivation of winter cereals as cover crops may lead to the enhancement of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere in the course of their growth. Moreover, the produced biomass can be used for energy generation.
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