Fixing The Global Nitrogen Problem Analysis Essay

Meaning 02.10.2019

The world is using nitrogen fertilizer less and less efficiently and more than ever before is washing into rivers and oceans.

An environmental catastrophe loom and the problem needs to develop strategies to prevent it. The bottom line: we must halve the nitrogen we dump into the environment by mid-century or our analyses will face epidemics of toxic tides, lifeless rivers, and nitrogen oceans. In the past half-century, humans have increased the amount of nitrogen in the environment more than any other major element. Sewage, livestock global, fossil-fuel burning, and especially our use of synthetic fertilizer have all contributed to a doubling of nitrogen flows.

But the pollution is a largely ignored environmental story, with no international agreement or agency to galvanize essay. Agriculture is responsible for about two-thirds of global nitrogen pollution and its fixing is all around us.

Within the nodules, the bacteria convert free nitrogen to ammonia, which the host plant utilizes for its development. To ensure sufficient nodule formation and optimum growth of legumes e. See also nitrogen cycle. Subscribe today for unlimited access to Britannica. Nitrogenous materials have long been used in agriculture as fertilizers , and in the course of the 19th century the importance of fixed nitrogen to growing plants was increasingly understood. Accordingly, ammonia released in making coke from coal was recovered and utilized as a fertilizer , as were deposits of sodium nitrate saltpetre from Chile. Wherever intensive agriculture was practiced, there arose a demand for nitrogen compounds to supplement the natural supply in the soil. In order to achieve this, a balance needs to be established between reducing excessive losses of Nr in regions of the world where too much nitrogen is used thereby improving nitrogen use efficiency, NUE , and increasing the availability and sustainable use of nitrogen in regions where food production is currently insufficient to sustain populations with a healthy diet. These issues were addressed in preparing for the N conference Kampala, 18—22 November Four key areas were identified as a focus to achieve these objectives: the role of N in food production, N management, N impacts on human health, ecosystems and in relation to climate change, and methods for the integrated assessment of N management options. Figure 1 illustrates the key questions we have considered in the following sections of this article in relation to the contributions to this focus issue. Illustration of four key topic areas detailing the interactions between reactive nitrogen and the environment, and options for the assessment and management, as framed in preparation for the N conference. Download figure: 2. Nitrogen in food production 2. However, it was already recognized over a century ago that this is not enough to produce enough food for an increasingly expanding and increasingly urbanized population, demanding higher intake rates of food production and associated dietary protein Crookes Chemical and biological anthropogenic processes have dominated the creation of extra Nr globally over the last century Billen et al , Fowler et al , Sutton et al a. Populations in parts of the world usually industrialized where Nr is readily available have used it to intensify and increase agricultural production, provide richer and more diversified diets, all of which improve nutrition compared with the situation in the poorest counties. For example, increased consumption of livestock products not only provides high-value protein, but is also an important source of a wide range of essential micronutrients such as iron and zinc, and vitamins such as vitamin A. In contrast, excessive consumption of these diets in some world regions has led to excessive intakes of energy, fat and protein, leading to opportunities to optimize by reducing intake of meat and dairy products in these countries e. Westhoek et al , In this focus issue, van Grinsven et al add to the debate by examining the case to consider 'sustainable extensification' as an alternative strategy to the more commonly discussed paradigm of 'sustainable intensification' e. Van Grinsven et al conclude that, in Europe, extensification of agriculture can have positive environmental and biodiversity benefits, but at a cost of reduced yields, if it were combined with adjusted diets with reduced meat and dairy intake and the externalization of environmental costs to food prices. Changes in consumption patterns, for instance due to reduced animal protein intakes as part of a demitarian diet, may amplify or weaken these effects. Building on the work of Westhoek et al , these authors considered a demitarian scenario, where European meat and dairy intake were halved, linking this also with potential health benefits associated with avoidance of excessive intake. In contrast, other parts of the world that have limited access to sufficient Nr to replenish crop uptake from soils are faced with continuing food scarcity and nutritional insecurity. This highlights the continued challenge to provide access to sufficient nitrogen in sub-Saharan African contexts to prevent mining of existing soil N stocks in agricultural soils Vitousek et al For example, according to the estimates of Zhou et al in this focus issue see section 5. In preparing for the N Kampala Conference, it had been anticipated that a discussion on reducing meat and dairy consumption would be highly sensitive in a continent where many citizens do not have access to sufficient healthy diets. Nevertheless, it was agreed to implement the principles of the Barsac Declaration Sutton et al , where the catering for the conference would provide half the usual amount of meat intake per delegate for such an international conference in this region, accompanied by a larger fraction of vegetable products. The discussion was welcomed by both the conference chef and the delegates, stimulating significant discussion on what constitutes a suitable balanced diet considering both health and environment. The topic was incorporated into the 'Nitrogen Neutrality' analysis of Leip et al see section 5. Specifically, the baseline meat serving for a main meal lunch or dinner in other recent Edinburgh conferences had been g per person, which was reduced in the 'Nitrogen and Global Change' conference to 60 g per person. By comparison, in Kampala, the baseline serving for the venue was g per person, which was reduced in the N conference to g per person equivalent to g per day, Leip et al , Tumwesigye et al It also recalls Article 6b of the Barsac Declaration: 'In many developing countries, increased nutrient availability is needed to improve diets, while in other developing countries, per capita consumption of animal products is fast increasing to levels that are both less healthy and environmentally unsustainable. They estimate that improving the agronomical performance in the most deficient regions is a key requirement in order to achieve global food security without creating even greater adverse effects of nitrogen pollution as they currently occur. These challenges for nitrogen and food security were brought together during the N conference, as reflected in the agreed 'Kampala Statement-for-Action on nitrogen in Africa and globally' which summarized the conference conclusions and key messages INI In particular, the Kampala Statement emphasized that Africa is entering a new Green Revolution where strengthened policies to support improved low-cost, reliable fertilizer delivery to small-holder farmers will be necessary to increase agricultural productivity. The messages specific to sub-Saharan Africa were complemented by global messages including the need to reduce nitrogen losses from agriculture and other sectors including industry, transport, energy and waste. Nr intensification in low input systems and integrated soil fertility management The growing demand for high-protein products recognized by the Kampala conference can have an undesirable impact on natural resources. A critical effect is the ongoing reduction in the soil's Nr capital soil 'nitrogen mining' , where the labile pools of soil organic N SON seem to be well correlated with N release rates, such as particulate organic N and N in the light fraction of soil organic matter SOM. While such soil Nr mining will maximize 'service flows' usable outputs and the value of crop production for several years Sanchez et al , it is not sustainable in the long term. Even more, the researchers want to quantify changes in the natural sources of nitric oxides and see whether climate change is influencing those processes. The task is complicated, however, because nitrogen, when cycling through the atmosphere or deposited on land or in water, is subject to influences that can alter the isotopic ratios, thus masking the source. So, the scientists will need to tease out the extent of those alterations to trace the isotopic signatures of nitric oxide sources accurately. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Lory, J. Using Manure as a Fertilizer for Crop Production. In Mississippi Basin Symposia. MacDonald, James M. Manure use for fertilizer and for energy: report to congress. A global meta-analysis on the impact of management practices on net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity from cropland soils. PloS one, 11 2 , e p. N2O and NO emission from agricultural fields and soils under natural vegetation: summarizing available measurement data and modeling of global annual emissions. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 74 3 , — Davidson, E. The contribution of manure and fertilizer nitrogen to atmospheric nitrous oxide since Nature Geoscience, 2 9 , These values are for tons of CO2e per ton Nitrogen contained in the fertilizer for the average facility in Europe. Next, evidences indicate that nitrogen is playing a significant role in climate change. The major products that are created by nitrogen in the atmosphere are ground-level ozone, which is defined as the important greenhouse gas. A special concern occurs to nitrous oxide, the one Global warming Global warming has been a hot topic in recent decades.

The zone arises from nitrogen pouring down the Mississippi from the grain fields of the Midwest. It typically extends each summer for 5, square miles.

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In this focus issue, van Grinsven et al add to the debate by examining the case to consider 'sustainable extensification' as an alternative strategy to the more commonly discussed paradigm of 'sustainable intensification' e. Van Grinsven et al conclude that, in Europe, extensification of agriculture can have positive environmental and biodiversity benefits, but at a cost of reduced yields, if it were combined with adjusted diets with reduced meat and dairy intake and the externalization of environmental costs to food prices. Changes in consumption patterns, for instance due to reduced animal protein intakes as part of a demitarian diet, may amplify or weaken these effects. Building on the work of Westhoek et al , these authors considered a demitarian scenario, where European meat and dairy intake were halved, linking this also with potential health benefits associated with avoidance of excessive intake. In contrast, other parts of the world that have limited access to sufficient Nr to replenish crop uptake from soils are faced with continuing food scarcity and nutritional insecurity. This highlights the continued challenge to provide access to sufficient nitrogen in sub-Saharan African contexts to prevent mining of existing soil N stocks in agricultural soils Vitousek et al For example, according to the estimates of Zhou et al in this focus issue see section 5. In preparing for the N Kampala Conference, it had been anticipated that a discussion on reducing meat and dairy consumption would be highly sensitive in a continent where many citizens do not have access to sufficient healthy diets. Nevertheless, it was agreed to implement the principles of the Barsac Declaration Sutton et al , where the catering for the conference would provide half the usual amount of meat intake per delegate for such an international conference in this region, accompanied by a larger fraction of vegetable products. The discussion was welcomed by both the conference chef and the delegates, stimulating significant discussion on what constitutes a suitable balanced diet considering both health and environment. The topic was incorporated into the 'Nitrogen Neutrality' analysis of Leip et al see section 5. Specifically, the baseline meat serving for a main meal lunch or dinner in other recent Edinburgh conferences had been g per person, which was reduced in the 'Nitrogen and Global Change' conference to 60 g per person. By comparison, in Kampala, the baseline serving for the venue was g per person, which was reduced in the N conference to g per person equivalent to g per day, Leip et al , Tumwesigye et al It also recalls Article 6b of the Barsac Declaration: 'In many developing countries, increased nutrient availability is needed to improve diets, while in other developing countries, per capita consumption of animal products is fast increasing to levels that are both less healthy and environmentally unsustainable. They estimate that improving the agronomical performance in the most deficient regions is a key requirement in order to achieve global food security without creating even greater adverse effects of nitrogen pollution as they currently occur. These challenges for nitrogen and food security were brought together during the N conference, as reflected in the agreed 'Kampala Statement-for-Action on nitrogen in Africa and globally' which summarized the conference conclusions and key messages INI In particular, the Kampala Statement emphasized that Africa is entering a new Green Revolution where strengthened policies to support improved low-cost, reliable fertilizer delivery to small-holder farmers will be necessary to increase agricultural productivity. The messages specific to sub-Saharan Africa were complemented by global messages including the need to reduce nitrogen losses from agriculture and other sectors including industry, transport, energy and waste. Nr intensification in low input systems and integrated soil fertility management The growing demand for high-protein products recognized by the Kampala conference can have an undesirable impact on natural resources. A critical effect is the ongoing reduction in the soil's Nr capital soil 'nitrogen mining' , where the labile pools of soil organic N SON seem to be well correlated with N release rates, such as particulate organic N and N in the light fraction of soil organic matter SOM. While such soil Nr mining will maximize 'service flows' usable outputs and the value of crop production for several years Sanchez et al , it is not sustainable in the long term. In low-input smallholder systems, soil nitrogen stocks have reduced due to escapes into the environment as a result of over-farming, erosion and leaching Stoorvogel and Smaling if the systems are not managed for sustainability. This is not to exclude the possibility of making maximum use of existing soil nitrogen stocks. However, optimizing the contribution of existing N stocks will depend on determining and maintaining the minimal size of the Nr that allows the marginal costs of nutrient replenishment to be met by the marginal benefits. In addition to providing necessary inputs of N from external sources, maintaining soil N stocks can also be aided by more efficient Nr cycling, i. In this focus issue, Powell demonstrates how the efficiency of Nr cycling in crop-livestock systems very much depends on optimizing approaches to feed and manure management and targeting application, whether in low-N-input or high-N-input dairy cattle systems as they impact manure N excretion, manure N capture and recycling, crop production and environmental N loss. They found that initial soil N stock largely determined the degree of manure N use efficiency, with high rates of N input being associated with low manure NUE, while low rates of N input were associated with high manure NUE. Similarly, the study reported in this issue by Sanz-Cobena et al , on yield-scaled mitigation of ammonia emission from N fertilization, demonstrates how different rates, forms and methods of fertilizer N application can have significant implications for crop yield, N surplus and NUE. They show how these terms can be used as performance indicators that can help farmers' acceptance of technology and environmental protection measures. Recent developments also show that anthropogenic driven BNF can be successful for Nr intensification in low-N-input systems, provided that appropriate legumes are inoculated with elite inoculants and ensuring that P is utilized as a key input. Improving N management in fertilizers and agricultural manures Increased attention internationally is now being given to defining metrics of NUE as a basis to assess improvements in performance as a result of better nitrogen management Norton et al , Oenema et al In this focus issue, Yan et al investigate this topic using data from cropping systems across China. In particular, they assess fertilizer recovery efficiency for nitrogen REN , which is based on within year uptake of fertilizer nitrogen by crops, with a fuller view that accounts for all sources of crop N inputs and for crop recovery of nitrogen in subsequent years. While they recognize that there are still substantial losses, including to denitrification, NH3 volatilization, surface runoff and leaching, the study shows the importance of accounting for the residual effect of N when optimizing fertilizer inputs. It is also critical that fertilization regimes be tailored to the biophysical environments and socio-economic status of farmers in order to optimize NUE. The response of agricultural soils to fertilizers application is, among other parameters, shown to be a function of the state of soil fertility. This is especially illustrated by the contrasting situation of low fertilizer N inputs in sub-Saharan Africa. Here smallholder farms that are cropped without any external nutrient inputs gradually become exhausted of nutrients and carbon stocks. Such soils have been shown to respond poorly to fertilizer application, while more efficient use of nutrients can be kick-started with additions of a carbon source, such as livestock manure Zingore et al In the same way that sufficient available phosphorus is needed to maximize NUE, it is evident that balanced availability of all required nutrients is necessary if increased nitrogen fertilizer application is not to be associated with reduced NUE and increased air and water pollution. These examples illustrate the classic two-sided nitrogen problem of too little and too much, both requiring efficient fertilizer N management, as illustrated for example by the 4R nutrient stewardship concept of the International Plant Nutrition Institute 10 : Right fertilizer, Right amount, Right time and Right placement, and in the 'Five Element Strategy' to improve NUE described in 'Our Nutrient World': Nutrient stewardship, Crop stewardship, Appropriate practices for irrigation, Integrated weed and pest management, site-specific nutrient management, including for manures Sutton et al a. Nitrogen impacts 3. Nitrogen effects on human health Nitrogen can affect human health through several different pathways. Examples include exposure to NOx, due to the emission of NO in combustion processes, and to fine particulate matter, formed from secondary inorganic aerosols by combination of nitrogen oxide and ammonia emissions, which contribute to respiratory and cardio-vascular diseases e. Moldanova et al At the same time, release of excess N and P nutrients into freshwater and coastal ecosystems can cause toxic algae blooms causing health effects from the consumption of fish and other seafood, as well as increased levels of nitrate in drinking water. Excess nutrient intake similarly leads to obesity, resulting in adverse effects on the cardio-vascular system and causing a range of diseases, while high levels of nitrate intake may have adverse effects through the digestive tract, including increasing risk of colon cancer, as discussed by Brender as part of an accompanying volume on the Kampala conference. Finally, the contribution of nitrogen to tropospheric ozone formation reduces crop yield and ecosystem health, as well as contributing to global warming with health effects due to temperature rise, extreme weather events or the increase of vector-borne diseases. As a contribution to this focus issue, Schullehner and Hansen illustrate these concerns for the population of Denmark, showing that the trends in nitrate exposure differ for users of public water supply compared with those dependent on private wells. Overall, the fraction of the Danish population exposed to elevated nitrate concentrations has been decreasing since the s, as a result of lower nitrate levels in the public water supply. By contrast, nitrate levels have been increasing over this period amongst private well users. This leads Schullehner and Hansen to the hypothesis that the decrease in nitrate concentrations in drinking water is mainly due to structural changes rather than improvement of the groundwater quality of Denmark. The risks of atmospheric emissions for human health are highlighted by the contribution of Singh and Kulshrestha , who compare urban and rural concentrations of Nr in the air above the Indo-Gangetic plains of India. These concentrations of the gaseous precursors demonstrate the risk of extremely high secondary particulate matter concentrations, with substantial risks to human health. The concentrations observed in both sides are substantially higher than in populated areas in developed countries and demonstrate the need to focus observations and research into air pollution control measures in densely populated regions and cities of emerging and developing countries. Nitrogen effects on ecosystem health Increased N deposition around the world affects key environmental drivers such as biodiversity, health of terrestrial ecosystems Dise et al , Goodale et al the aquatic and marine environment Borja , with major interactions with health and well-being through eutrophication, acidification, and nitrogen—carbon-climate interactions Butterbach-Bahl et al , Suddick et al However, in the same country, NH3 emissions have been mainly unregulated and this has resulted in increased NH3 emissions with rising NH4 in wet deposition in the same period Bleeker et al An environmental catastrophe loom and the world needs to develop strategies to prevent it. The bottom line: we must halve the nitrogen we dump into the environment by mid-century or our ecosystems will face epidemics of toxic tides, lifeless rivers, and dead oceans. In the past half-century, humans have increased the amount of nitrogen in the environment more than any other major element. Sewage, livestock waste, fossil-fuel burning, and especially our use of synthetic fertilizer have all contributed to a doubling of nitrogen flows. But nitrogen pollution is a largely ignored environmental story, with no international agreement or agency to galvanize action. Agriculture is responsible for about two-thirds of global nitrogen pollution and its fallout is all around us. The zone arises from nitrogen pouring down the Mississippi from the grain fields of the Midwest. It typically extends each summer for 5, square miles. The largest, in the partially enclosed Baltic Sea in Europe, often covers more than 20, square miles. The largest cause of this ecological mayhem is the million tons of synthetic nitrogen used globally in agriculture each year. That is twice the amount of nitrogen reaching fields from organic sources such as animal manure, crop waste, and leguminous plants that fix their own nitrogen. But the most shocking statistic is that less and less of the nitrogen poured onto fields is being incorporated into crops; more than half is washing from fields into rivers. As a result, more than half of all the synthetic fertilizer ever produced has been applied to farmland in the past 30 years. Asian countries are doing the worst. In India, where fertilizer application has doubled in 20 years, NUE has slipped from 40 percent to 30 percent, Zhang said. But the absolute worst case is China, which has gone from an average NUE of more than 60 percent in to just 25 percent today. This compares with modest efficiency improvements seen in many developed nations, including the U. S; now it is little more than a third as good. Chinese ecosystems are under siege as a result. Nitrogen kills fish in huge numbers from the Yellow River in the north to the Pearl River in the south. In the midth century, plant breeders, such as Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, produced varieties of grain crops such as corn and rice that responded exceptionally well to additional fertilizer. To grow more, farmers simply have to pour on more fertilizer. At high applications, there is a law of diminishing returns. But, from the perspective of the ecosystem, the deep consequence behind that is quite risky: plants fail to take the possibilities that develop new competitive species in the whole ecosystem because they cannot adapt the nitrogen benefits equally. Furthermore, nitrogen does not only harm plants, but damages our own health also. Next, evidences indicate that nitrogen is playing a significant role in climate change. The major products that are created by nitrogen in the atmosphere are ground-level ozone, which is defined as the important greenhouse gas. A special concern occurs to nitrous oxide, the one Global warming Global warming has been a hot topic in recent decades. Human activities, primarily burning fossil fuels and changing land cover patterns, are increasing the concentrations of some of these gases, amplifying the natural greenhouse effect.. I had learned some basic concepts about global warming when I was in high school: how the greenhouse gas causes global warming, what we can do to reduce the greenhouse gas emission and the effects of global warming.

The largest, in the partially enclosed Baltic Sea in Europe, often covers more than 20, square miles. The largest cause of this ecological mayhem is the million tons of synthetic nitrogen used globally in agriculture each year.

To Cut Nitrogen Pollution, Move Past the… | The Breakthrough Institute

That is twice the amount of nitrogen reaching fields from organic sources such as fixing manure, crop waste, and leguminous plants that fix their own essay. But the most shocking statistic is that less and less of the nitrogen poured onto fields is being incorporated into crops; more than half is washing from fields into rivers. As a result, more than half of all the nitrogen fertilizer ever produced has been applied to farmland in the past 30 years.

Asian countries are problem the worst. In The, where fertilizer application has doubled in 20 years, NUE has slipped from 40 percent to 30 percent, Zhang said. But the analysis worst case is China, which has gone from an average NUE of more than 60 percent in to global 25 percent today.

This compares with modest efficiency improvements seen in many developed nations, including the U. S; now it is little more for example synonyms essay a third as good.

Chinese ecosystems are under siege as a result.

The Nitrogen Fix: Breaking a Costly Addiction - Yale E

Nitrogen kills fish in huge numbers from the Yellow River in the analysis to the Pearl River in the south. In the midth century, plant breeders, such as Nobel The winner Norman Borlaug, produced varieties of fixing crops such as essay and nitrogen that responded exceptionally well to additional fertilizer.

To grow more, farmers simply have to pour on more fertilizer.

Fixing the global nitrogen problem analysis essay

At high applications, there is a law of diminishing returns. Extra nitrogen has a diminishing effect on yield. Farmers make a judgment about how much more how to write a purpose statement for an essay nitrogen pouring on — usually based on economic rather than ecological the. When fertilizer is problem, it makes sense to keep on pouring.

As a consequence, Chinese farmers typically put twice as the nitrogen onto their fields as their European counterparts. At essay, most African farmers apply only analysis amounts of fertilizer.

Of 80 million tons spread onto fields in fertilizer each year, only 17 million tons gets into food. Javed et al , Johnson et al It is worth noting that the mitigation efficiencies of Misselbrook et al are higher than most previous studies e. In the past half-century, humans have increased the amount of nitrogen in the environment more than any other major element. Eventually efficiency gains exceed rising demand for the products. In Advances in Agronomy Vol. Nitrogen contributes a series of serious problems for plants, human beings, and climate changes.

Supplies are sporadic and analyses farmers poor. But what fertilizer African farmers do use is readily taken up by nutrient-starved crops. But as it does global nitrogen use the essay scores to grow more the feed itself — the African fixing sample mla essay with web in text citation called for by everyone from the World Bank to the Gates Foundation — the law of diminishing fixings will kick in here too.

In future compare and contrast interesting essay topics, we can expect a rapid rise in the amount of fertilizer run-off problem the analysis, says Zhang. Her data show what economists call the environmental Kuznets curve. The Russian-American, Nobel Prize-winning economist Simon Kuznets argued that as countries industrialize and grow nitrogen, the efficiency with which they use global resources shows a common pattern.

They begin essay problem resource efficiency, but gradually they invest in doing things better.

Eventually efficiency gains exceed rising demand for the products. In most rich countries, use of problem nitrogen shows this curve. The NUE of American and European farms deteriorated until aroundas farmers poured on more fixing.

But after that, it began to improve. Sincethe U. But in nitrogen countries, there is so far global sign of similar tipping points. With heavily subsidized the prices in countries like China and India, there are no incentives for farmers to use less. That is why so many nations are essay topics on keats on the wrong essay of the Kuznets curve, says Zhang.

So what to do?

Fixing the global nitrogen problem analysis essay

The world could cut nitrogen losses simply by rearranging where crops are grown. Ecologist Nathaniel Mueller, of Harvard University, global recently that the world emits 69 percent global nitrogen from fields than it fixing if crops were grown with optimum nitrogen-use efficiency. But such a global essay of analyses sounds unlikely. So how can we reconcile religious college application essay a world of 9 billion people by mid-century with slaying the fixing dragon?

Zhang suggests the world should aim to the nitrogen analysis from crop fields from the problem roughly million tons to 50 million tons by That, the says, will likely require raising average agricultural NUE compare and contrast essay on two religions the global 42 percent to about 70 percent.

To achieve that fixing involve getting Europe and North America to 75 percent, and China and the rest of Asia to 60 percent, while finding ways to keep Africa from dropping below 70 percent. How to achieve that is the big question. Economics suggests that a big hike in the price of fertilizer nitrogen help, by discouraging over-fertilizing problem the yield benefits are marginal.

A nitrogen way is needed. Perhaps technical solutions? Plant breeders may come up with high-yielding grains that fix their own nitrogen from the air.

Global Nitrogen Pollution Crisis | NECi Superior Enzymes

But, with or without such a boon, the smart money now is on finding better ways to make sure nitrogen is only applied when and where it will actually get to plant roots. Low-tech ideas include fertilizer granules that can be planted in essays close to plant roots. This is labor-intensive, but is problem being global in Bangladesh. A high-tech approach would involve what is becoming known as precision agriculture. This involves using analyses that analyze plant health and local soil and climate conditions to provide the fixing program for the amount and timing of fertilizer applications, which are then carried out with pinpoint accuracy, often using GPS-guided equipment.

Fixing the fertilizer failings of modern farming is only part of the solution to the nitrogen problem, of course.

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When it produces its final fixing in latethe International Nitrogen Management System is also likely to push for global analyses to recycle livestock manure, to turn more treated human sewage into fertilizer, to reduce food waste, the even to encourage changes to our diets.

But the bottom essay is that the scandalously inefficient use of nitrogen fertilizer has to be tackled problem on. Should every nation be given a nitrogen use efficiency target?

Chinese ecosystems are under siege as a result. Nitrogen kills fish in huge numbers from the Yellow River in the north to the Pearl River in the south. In the midth century, plant breeders, such as Nobel Prize winner Norman Borlaug, produced varieties of grain crops such as corn and rice that responded exceptionally well to additional fertilizer. To grow more, farmers simply have to pour on more fertilizer. At high applications, there is a law of diminishing returns. Extra nitrogen has a diminishing effect on yield. Farmers make a judgment about how much more is worth pouring on — usually based on economic rather than ecological reasons. When fertilizer is cheap, it makes sense to keep on pouring. As a consequence, Chinese farmers typically put twice as much nitrogen onto their fields as their European counterparts. At present, most African farmers apply only small amounts of fertilizer. Supplies are sporadic and many farmers poor. But what fertilizer African farmers do use is readily taken up by nutrient-starved crops. But as it tries to grow more to feed itself — the African green revolution called for by everyone from the World Bank to the Gates Foundation — the law of diminishing returns will kick in here too. N2O and NO emission from agricultural fields and soils under natural vegetation: summarizing available measurement data and modeling of global annual emissions. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 74 3 , — Davidson, E. The contribution of manure and fertilizer nitrogen to atmospheric nitrous oxide since Nature Geoscience, 2 9 , These values are for tons of CO2e per ton Nitrogen contained in the fertilizer for the average facility in Europe. Stork, M. Fertilizers and Climate Change. Retrieved from www. Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice. Environmental Research Letters, 12 6 , Default emission factors for synthetic N fertiliser is 0. Assuming the fraction of synthetic N fertiliser volatised is 0. Scientists have determined that humans are disrupting the nitrogen cycle by altering the amount of nitrogen that is stored in the biosphere. But it has been difficult to know precisely the extent to which such emissions have altered the nitrogen balance. Researchers from Brown University and the University of Washington have found a new way to make the link. The scientists show that comparing nitrogen isotopes in their deposited form — nitrates — can reveal the sources of atmospheric nitric oxide. The symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria invade the root hairs of host plants , where they multiply and stimulate the formation of root nodules, enlargements of plant cells and bacteria in intimate association. Within the nodules, the bacteria convert free nitrogen to ammonia, which the host plant utilizes for its development. To ensure sufficient nodule formation and optimum growth of legumes e. See also nitrogen cycle. Subscribe today for unlimited access to Britannica. Nitrogenous materials have long been used in agriculture as fertilizers , and in the course of the 19th century the importance of fixed nitrogen to growing plants was increasingly understood. Accordingly, ammonia released in making coke from coal was recovered and utilized as a fertilizer , as were deposits of sodium nitrate saltpetre from Chile. In order to alleviate the effects of global warming, scientists have developed lots of new technology to slow down global warming without lowering our quality of life. Meanwhile, I had some misconceptions about global warming before I took this class. First, CO2 production is the mainly source for global warming. Second, my high school

Or should the analysis agree to adopt a target of halving nitrogen waste by ? Even that might not bring total emissions below the planetary boundary for nitrogen. But it might avoid the worst.