Nitrogen pollution is a problem as big as climate change. Does science have a fix? | torhlefdeotusa.ml
In an effort to make crops grow faster, people use nitrogen in fertilizers. However, the excessive use of those fertilizers in agriculture has had devastating consequences for the environment and human health, as it has contributed to the pollution of groundwater and surface waters. According to the U. Environmental Protection Agency EPA , nutrient pollution caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the air and water, is one of the most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. One of the solutions to the issue of excessive nitrogen lies in sustainable agriculture, organic farming and raising the awareness of these environmental issues among farmers, according to Randy A.
Dahlgren, a professor of soil science at University of California, Davis.
Another step would be to use slow-release fertilizers that have plastic coatings on them and, instead of releasing the nitrogen right away, the release of nitrogen occurs gradually throughout the growing season, "trying to match the nitrogen release from the plastic coated fertilizer with the needs of the plant," he said.
Microbiologists at the University of Alberta in Canada and the University of Vienna in Austria may have discovered another solution.
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In August , the researchers announced they had identified an ammonia-oxidizing microbe called Nitrospira inopinata. According to the researchers, Nitrospira inopinata is an ammonium sponge, essentially outperforming nearly every other type of bacteria and archaea single-celled organisms in the oxidation of ammonium in the environment. Because this microbe is such an efficient oxidizer, it may produce less nitrous oxide in the process. The new findings, which appear in the scientific journal Nature , could have important implications for climate change research. His research has taken him from stormy seas in the Southern Ocean to evil-smelling Scottish ditches.
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Buy eBook. Buy Hardcover. He has worked on nitrogen and climate change for over 20 years.
His research has taken him from stormy seas in the Southern Ocean to evil-smelling Scottish ditches. He has written several popular books on climate change and directs the award-winning Masters in Carbon Management at Edinburgh. The world is changing.
Human population is surging towards 10 billion, food, water, climate and energy security are all at risk. Nitrogen could be our life raft in this global 'perfect storm'. Get it right and it can help to feed billions, fuel our cars and put a dent in global warming.
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