Navigation Links
Waterways contribute to growth of potent greenhouse gas
Date:12/20/2010

EAST LANSING, Mich. Nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, has increased by more than 20 percent over the last century, and nitrogen in waterways is fueling part of that growth, according to a Michigan State University study.

Based on this new study, the role of rivers and streams as a source of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere now appears to be twice as high as estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to Stephen Hamilton, a professor at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station. The study appears in the current issue of the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences.

The increased production of nitrous oxide in streams can be traced to the growth of nitrogen fertilizers and the cultivation of crops that return nitrogen to the soil naturally, both of which have the unintended consequence of increasing nitrogen in streams. Some of the nitrogen entering streams is converted to nitrous oxide.

While many studies have focused on how agricultural soils contribute to the production of this greenhouse gas, little attention has been given to nitrous oxide originating from streams and rivers, according to the study.

Nitrous oxide exists at low levels in the atmosphere, yet is thought to be responsible for 6 percent of climate warming and also contributes to stratospheric ozone destruction. It packs a much bigger punch on a molecular level than carbon dioxide, Hamilton said.

"Nitrous oxide is the leading human-caused threat to the atmospheric ozone layer, which protects the earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation," said Hamilton, who works with MSU's Long-Term Ecological Research program. "And on a per molecule basis, its global warming potential is 300-fold greater than carbon dioxide."

Hamilton was part of a team of researchers led by Jake Beaulieu of the Environmental Protection Agency and formerly with the University of Notre Dame. The team conducted experiments on 72 U.S. rivers and streams and ran their findings through a global river network model. They studied the production of nitrous oxide from the process of denitrification, in which bacteria convert nitrates to nitrogen gases.

"Even with more than 99 percent of denitrified nitrogen in streams and rivers being converted to the inert gas, dinitrogen, river networks still contribute to at least 10 percent of global anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions," Hamilton said.

Reducing use of agricultural fertilizer and other sources of nitrogen are examples of how to decrease humanity's contribution to the growth of nitrous oxide produced in waterways, the study concluded.


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@ur.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UH team analyzes Hurricane Ikes effects on waterways, fish contamination
2. Sources of pollution in waterways
3. Switchgrass lessens soil nitrate loss into waterways, ISU researcher says
4. New study focuses on nitrogen in waterways as cause of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere
5. Seabird ammonia emissions contribute to atmospheric acidity
6. Scientists identify gene that may contribute to improved rice yield
7. Scientists discover why a mothers high-fat diet contributes to obesity in her children
8. Deranged calcium signaling contributes to neurological disorder, UT Southwestern researchers find
9. USC researchers head global effort to study genetic risks that contribute to psychiatric diseases
10. TXOTX, coordinated international project to contribute to sustainability of the marine resources
11. New research shows high-quality protein in eggs contributes to power, strength and energy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... , Jan. 20, 2016   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... MedNet,s significant achievements are the result of the company,s ... iMedNet eClinical , it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and ... --> Key MedNet growth achievements in ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... 13, 2016 --> ... new market report titled - Biometric Sensors Market - Global ... - 2023. According to the report, the global biometric sensors market was ... to reach US$1,625.8 mn by 2023, expanding at a ... of volume, the biometric sensors market is expected to ...
(Date:1/8/2016)... MANCHESTER, United Kingdom , Jan. 8, 2016   ... diagnostic products, today announced the closing of a $9 million ... Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate the ... for detecting early-stage pressure ulcers. United ... receiving CE Mark approval. The device,s introduction has been met ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... , ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... more than 150 years, continues today to pursue the highest level of accuracy ... analytical instruments: the AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, reliable and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , February 10, 2016 Early-career ... , Peru , Uganda ... their life-enhancing work in health and nutrition   Indonesia ... Uganda and Yemen are ... sciences and epidemiology. They are also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that it has joined the Human ... and immunotherapies for infectious diseases and cancer. , The Human Vaccines ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a ... promotion of two long-standing principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical ... Development. , Dr. Laurence Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: