Posted on April 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Massive changes in cattle rearing and consumption are needed to cut nitrous oxide emissions.
New research outlines steps need to reach IPCC goals
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Stabilizing heat-trapping nitrous oxide levels in the atmosphere will require fundamental shifts in food production and consumption, according to Woods Hole Research Center scientist Eric Davidson, who outlined steps needed to meet goals set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Reporting in the April 13 edition of Environmental Research Letters, Davidson said the developed world needs to cut per capita meat consumption by 50 percent, along with similar cuts in the industrial and agricultural sectors. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, climate, global warming, greenhouse gases, Nitrous oxide | 4 Comments »
Posted on April 4, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania, where air samples have been collected since 1978. These samples show a long-term trend in isotopic composition that confirms that nitrogen-based fertilizer is largely responsible for the 20 percent increase in atmospheric nitrous oxide since the Industrial Revolution. Photo courtesy CSIRO.
Best management practices by farmers could help reduce levels without much additional cost
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — A detailed analysis of global nitrogen cycles shows without a doubt that a spike in atmospheric nitrous oxide can be traced to increased fertilizer use during the past 50 years.
Since 1970, nitrous oxide concentrations have increased by 20 percent, from below 270 parts per billion to more than 320 ppb. After carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide (N2O) is the most potent greenhouse gas, trapping heat and contributing to global warming. It also destroys stratospheric ozone, which protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Climate scientists have assumed that the cause of the increased nitrous oxide was nitrogen-based fertilizer, which stimulates microbes in the soil to convert nitrogen to nitrous oxide at a faster rate than normal. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: agriculture, Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, Nitrous oxide | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 20, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Industrial feedlots are huge sources of greenhouse gases. PHOTO COURTESY DAVIS CREEK FARMS.
Year-long study tallies methane, ammonia, nitrous oxide and CO2 at Idaho feedlot
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s long been acknowledged that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are an important factor in the global warming equation. By some measures, the livestock sector accounts for 18 percent off all greenhouse gas emissions — as measured in CO2 equivalent — more than the transportation sector.
And livestock production generates an even larger share of the most potent gasses, including 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide — which has 296 times stronger than CO2 as a heat-trapping gas — and 37 percent of all human-produced methane 23 time more potent than CO2) and 64 percent of ammonia, a key ingredient in acid rain. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Environment, global warming, greenhouse gases, livestock, methane sources, Nitrous oxide, Summit County News | Leave a Comment »