Emissions of a greenhouse gas considered worse than CO2 are rising faster than previously thought.

Nitrous oxide is considered the third most important greenhouse gas, and is largely released by the use of nitrogen-based fertilisers.

In climate change terms, one tonne of nitrous oxide is equivalent to 298 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Emissions have increased for many decades but accelerated since 2009 above what previous estimates have suggested, according to Australian and international scientists.

A new study estimates a global emission factor of around 2.5 per cent, which is significantly larger than the IPCC’s estimate of 1.375 per cent.

The researchers say that we also need to reduce these sorts of gases to meet ambitious climate targets.

The study found that agricultural giants China, India and Brazil made the largest contributions to the global increase.

Data from other regions showed that it is possible to increase agricultural yields without increasing nitrous oxide emissions.

The full study is accessible here.