Navigation Links
Growing nitrous oxide levels explained
Date:4/4/2012

Australian, Korean and US scientists have generated a 65-year record of Southern Hemisphere nitrous oxide measurements establishing a new benchmark against which to compare changes in the long-lived greenhouse gas that is also a major ozone-depleting substance.Published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience, the record is drawn from atmospheric sampling at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station, Tasmania, and air extracted from the Antarctic ice sheet

Its significance, says co-author CSIRO's Dr David Etheridge, will be its contribution to the development of emissions protocols as countries step up their monitoring of gases contributing to global warming and ozone depletion.

Nitrous oxide, N2O, is produced naturally by microbial activity in soils and the oceans as well as by agriculture. With a lifetime in the atmosphere of around 120 years, it is eventually broken down by oxidation in the stratosphere.

Scientists have measured a 20% increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide since 1750.

Dr Etheridge said that through analysis of isotopes, which are different forms of the nitrogen and oxygen comprising nitrous oxide, researchers identified that the increase of nitrous oxide was largely from agricultural sources.

"Through these measurements and a close analysis of the record we can also see seasonal cycles in N2O's isotopic composition, as well as large year-to-year variations and long-term trends," he said

He said the unique record of seasonal cycles allows scientists to trace the production and loss of nitrous oxide, from its origins in the ocean and soils to its movement through the stratosphere where it contributes to breaking down ozone.

"Until now the balance between the stratospheric sink and the oceanic source of nitrous oxide has been a key uncertainty in understanding nitrous oxide variations at the Earth's surface.

"This new evidence of the budget nitrous oxide allows us to better predict its future changes and therefore its impacts on climate and stratospheric ozone depletion - for different scenarios of fertiliser use in support of rising populations and increased production for bio-energy," he said.

Dr Etheridge said the record demonstrates the value of Australia's investment, through CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, in a world-class atmospheric monitoring station since the 1970s, with its underlying vision of establishing an air archive which can be measured as new technologies are developed.

Adding to this is the Australian Antarctic Division's glaciology program that accesses a natural archive of the past atmosphere, at its primary drilling site Law Dome.

Dr Etheridge said that better estimates of the magnitudes and geographic distribution of N2O sources and how they change over time help formulate sound emissions policies.

Led by University of California-Berkeley's Dr Sunyoung Park, Australian co-authors included CSIRO scientists at the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Drs Paul Fraser, Paul Krummel, Ray Langenfelds, Paul Steele, Cathy Trudinger, and Dr Tas van Ommen, from the Australian Antarctic Division.

The Cape Grim Air Pollution Station's scientific research is jointly managed by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. The Australian Antarctic Division and the Australian Antarctic Science Program supported access and drilling at Law Dome.


'/>"/>

Contact: Craig Macaulay
Craig.Macaulay@csiro.au
61-362-325-219
CSIRO Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. VIB-BGI Genomics Meeting highlights growing impact of large-scale genomics in life sciences
2. After 25 years, sustainability is a growing science thats here to stay
3. Environmental troubles growing in Mid-East Gulf region due to rapid coastal development
4. Trees on tundras border are growing faster in a hotter climate
5. Growing without cell division
6. Acinetobacter baumannii found growing in nearly half of infected patient rooms
7. Growing something out of nothing
8. New method of growing high-quality graphene promising for next-gen technology
9. Genencor promotes biobased economy to address challenges of fast-growing world population
10. Rapid evolution within single crop-growing season increases insect pest numbers
11. Regrowing blood vessels with a potent molecule
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/12/2016)... 2016 WearablesResearch.com , a brand of ... results from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables ... consumers, receptivity to a program where they would receive ... insurance company. "We were surprised to see ... Michael LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware design ... Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together inventors ... and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, ... down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower ... 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following ... Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... of intelligent tools designed, tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers ... The result of a collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: