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:4/11/2017)... N.Y. , April 11, 2017 ... fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University ... College of Engineering have found that partial similarities ... security systems used in mobile phones and other ... thought. The vulnerability lies in the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market for stem ... 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The rise ... growth of the stem cell market. Download ... The global stem cell market is segmented on the ... cell market of the product is segmented into adult ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the design of the ... to introduce it to top lab design architects from around the country at the ... of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the show, where they ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Frederick ... a range of emerging bio and technology start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a ... double event will start with libations and networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) will ... of migraine at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) ... in Boston . ... and patient outcomes data for galcanezumab in patients with ... migraine headache days among patients with episodic migraine. Lilly ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... /PRNewswire/ - Prometic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: PFSCF) ("Prometic" ... Liver Congress ("ILC") 2017 of the European Association for the ... on the positive effects of PBI-4050 on reduction of ... metabolic syndrome. ... Dr. Lyne Gagnon, Vice-President of R&D Pre-clinical of Prometic "This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: