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Project Drawdown, Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


Improved Rice Production

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  • This article examines how current rice production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, different techniques that make rice production more sustainable, and the potential benefits of widespread improvements.
  • Students will learn that flooded rice paddies lead to methane emissions, that mid-season drainage is one technique that could make rice production more sustainable, and that applying sustainable methods to worldwide rice production can sequester many gigatons of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Teaching Tips


  • This article accounts for the cultural implications associated with rice farming.
  • This article is concise and easy to understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to understand how methane emissions impact the Earth's climate.
  • Students need to understand the process of decomposition.
  • Some students may need the terms hectare, anaerobic, microbe, smallholder, degraded, sequester, and others defined before reading the article.
  • The link under References does not work.


  • Students can use this article for a research project on how greenhouse gas emissions and food production are connected.
  • Teachers can use this article as a conceptual introduction to different types of greenhouse gases and how each one contributes to climate change.
  • Students can research the cultural history of rice production and discuss the complications associated with trying to change practices with strong cultural roots.
  • This resource pairs well with another Project Drawdown article titled System of Rice Intensification.
  • This article can support a lesson on the environmental impact of various agricultural processes.
Scientist Notes
This article explores changing how rice is produced and cultivated as a climate solution. The article introduces a few different alternatives to the current method of rice cultivation. It acknowledges that rice is a prominent crop for many cultures worldwide. The article has the organization of a scientific paper, as it includes the introduction, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. The authors address the limitations of the study. This format makes this resource a simplified example of how scientific articles are often structured. The article acknowledges its resources. The information presented is accurate, and this resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development and how they interact to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.
      • RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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