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Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States

Overview of attention for article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, July 2014
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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203 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
768 Mendeley
citeulike
6 CiteULike
Title
Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States
Published in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, July 2014
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1402183111
Pubmed ID
Authors

G. Eshel, A. Shepon, T. Makov, R. Milo

Abstract

Livestock production impacts air and water quality, ocean health, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on regional to global scales and it is the largest use of land globally. Quantifying the environmental impacts of the various livestock categories, mostly arising from feed production, is thus a grand challenge of sustainability science. Here, we quantify land, irrigation water, and reactive nitrogen (Nr) impacts due to feed production, and recast published full life cycle GHG emission estimates, for each of the major animal-based categories in the US diet. Our calculations reveal that the environmental costs per consumed calorie of dairy, poultry, pork, and eggs are mutually comparable (to within a factor of 2), but strikingly lower than the impacts of beef. Beef production requires 28, 11, 5, and 6 times more land, irrigation water, GHG, and Nr, respectively, than the average of the other livestock categories. Preliminary analysis of three staple plant foods shows two- to sixfold lower land, GHG, and Nr requirements than those of the nonbeef animal-derived calories, whereas irrigation requirements are comparable. Our analysis is based on the best data currently available, but follow-up studies are necessary to improve parameter estimates and fill remaining knowledge gaps. Data imperfections notwithstanding, the key conclusion--that beef production demands about 1 order of magnitude more resources than alternative livestock categories--is robust under existing uncertainties. The study thus elucidates the multiple environmental benefits of potential, easy-to-implement dietary changes, and highlights the uniquely high resource demands of beef.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 757 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 768 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 15 2%
Brazil 9 1%
Germany 6 <1%
Belgium 3 <1%
United Kingdom 3 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
Kenya 1 <1%
Norway 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Other 13 2%
Unknown 714 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 143 19%
Researcher 139 18%
Student > Master 134 17%
Student > Bachelor 110 14%
Other 47 6%
Other 129 17%
Unknown 66 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 207 27%
Environmental Science 171 22%
Engineering 44 6%
Social Sciences 38 5%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 35 5%
Other 159 21%
Unknown 114 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1659. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 May 2020.
All research outputs
#1,913
of 15,134,090 outputs
Outputs from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#79
of 84,429 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#22
of 194,461 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
#4
of 920 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 15,134,090 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 84,429 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 26.7. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 194,461 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 920 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.