Navigation Links
Dangerous nitrogen pollution could be halved
Date:5/13/2014

Ambitious mitigation efforts, however, could decrease the pollution by 50 percent. The analysis is the very first to quantify this.

"Nitrogen is an irreplaceable nutrient and a true life-saver as it helps agriculture to feed a growing world population but it is unfortunately also a dangerous pollutant," says Benjamin Bodirsky, lead-author of the study. In the different forms it can take through chemical reactions, it massively contributes to respirable dust, leads to the formation of aggressive ground-level ozone, and destabilizes water ecosystems. Damages in Europe alone have been estimated at around 1-4 percent of economic output, worth billions of Euro. About half of these nitrogen pollution damages are from agriculture. This is why the scientists ran extensive computer simulations to explore the effects of different mitigation measures.

Both farmers and consumers would have to participate in mitigation

"It became clear that without mitigation the global situation may markedly deteriorate as the global food demand grows," says Bodirsky, who is also affiliated to the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Colombia (CIAT). "A package of mitigation actions can reverse this trend, yet the risk remains that nitrogen pollution still exceeds safe environmental thresholds."

Only combined mitigation efforts both in food production and consumption could substantially reduce the risks, the study shows. Currently, every second ton of nitrogen put on the fields is not taken up by the crops but blown away by the wind, washed out by rain or decomposed by microorganisms. To reduce losses and prevent pollution, farmers can more carefully target fertilizer application to plants' needs, using soil measurements. Moreover, they should aim at efficiently recycling animal dung to fertilize the plants. "Mitigation costs are currently many times lower than damage costs," says co-author Alexander Popp.

"For consumers in developed countries, halving food waste, meat consumption and related feed use would not only benefit their health and their wallet," Popp adds. "Both changes would also increase the overall resource efficiency of food production and reduce pollution."

"Health effects of nitrogen pollution more important than climate effects"

"The nitrogen cycle is interwoven with the climate system in various ways," Hermann Lotze-Campen points out, co-author of the study and co-chair of PIK's research domain Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, on the one hand is one of the major greenhouse gases. On the other hand, nitrogen containing aerosols scatter light and thereby cool the climate. And as fertilizing nutrient, nitrogen enhances the growth of forests which binds CO2. "Currently the health effects of nitrogen pollution are clearly more important, because the different climate effects largely cancel out," says Lotze-Campen. "But this may change hence limiting nitrogen would have the double benefit of helping our health today and avoiding climate risks in the future."


'/>"/>

Contact: PIK Press Office
press@pik-potsdam.de
49-331-288-2507
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCSB researchers discover particularly dangerous Salmonella
2. Researchers discover molecule in immune system that could help treat dangerous skin cancer
3. Hearing the telltale sounds of dangerous chemicals
4. The raccoon spreads dangerous diseases as it invades Europe
5. Shedding new light on one of diabetes most dangerous complications
6. Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals
7. Study: Widespread test-and-treat HIV policies could increase dangerous drug resistance
8. MRI measure of blood flow over atherosclerotic plaque may detect dangerous plaque
9. Smoking + asthma + pregnant = a dangerous combination
10. Model of dangerous bee disease in Jersey provides tool in fight against honeybee infections
11. Assessing dangerous climate change and call for climate change response papers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/28/2016)... Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer of ... ended December 31, 2015. --> ... increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year to ... was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the prior ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... Software, the world-leading supplier of image data management solutions ... data management solution OMERO Plus for the newly established ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160125/325328LOGO ... analysis measures the characteristics and behavior of cells, tissues ... as health and disease, the presence or absence of ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... 21, 2016 --> ... market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition Market by Technology ... (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), Services, Application ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global Emotion ... USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... with Singapore-based Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) and its affiliate Global Medical ... the latest adipose and bone marrow therapies. , Through the new collaboration, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... FALLS, N.J. , Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... a biotechnology company specializing in the development and ... health of damaged tissues and organs, recently reported ... for the first quarter of 2016. ... began the new 2015 fiscal year in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric ... he will focus on acquiring new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients ... “Fred brings to our European clients more than 15 years of experience in the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016  DNAtrix, a clinical stage, biotechnology ... that its lead product, DNX-2401, has been ... orphan medicinal product for the treatment of ... strikes approximately 25,000 people a year in ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160208/330986LOGO --> http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160208/330986LOGO ...
Breaking Biology Technology: