February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 9, NUMBER 5, MAY 1996
OZONE DEPLETION: METHYL BROMIDE
"Effect of Soil Factors on Methyl Bromide Volatilization After Soil
Application," J. Gan (Dept. Soil & Environ. Sci., Univ. California,
Riverside CA 92521), S.R. Yates et al., Environ. Sci. & Technol.,
30(5), 1629-1636, May 1996.
Describes experiments determining how various soil factors (such as soil
type, soil water content, and bulk density) affect the volatilization of methyl
bromide from soil. Volatilization was significantly less in organic matter-rich
soil and in moist and dense soils, implying that the volatilization rate may
have wide regional and local variations, even within the same field. To minimize
volatilization, methyl bromide should be injected at great depths in moist soil
under suitable tarps.
"Methyl Bromide Emissions from a Covered Field: I. Experimental
Conditions and Degradation in Soil," S.R. Yates (Soil Phys. Unit, Salinity
Lab., USDA-ARS, 450 Big Springs Rd., Riverside CA 92507), J. Gan et al., J.
Environ. Qual., 25(1), 184-192, Jan.-Feb. 1996.
". . .II. Volatilization," S.R. Yates, F.F. Ernst et al., ibid.,
Describes results from the experiments of the previous paper, in somewhat
more detail. High emissions result when methyl bromide is applied at shallow
soil depths and the soil covered with a relatively permeable polyethylene tarp,
which is currently a common practice. Research is urgently needed to develop
methods for containing methyl bromide in soils at lower rates of application and
for longer times, so that soil degradation can occur. If such improved
procedures can be found, methyl bromide emissions to the atmosphere could be
significantly lowered without any loss in pest control.
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