Nitrogen emissions from rising fertiliser use threaten climate goals
(Reuters, 7 Oct 2020) The agriculture sector was the biggest contributor to the rise in N2O emissions, which threatens efforts to curb global warming.
Growing use of nitrogen-based fertilisers for food production is increasing emissions of a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, threatening efforts to keep global warming to internationally agreed limits, scientists warned Wednesday.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the main man-made substance damaging the planet's protective ozone layer, and its level in the atmosphere - where it remains for more than 100 years - has risen 20% since 1750, while emissions have increased by 30% over the past four decades due to human activities, they said.
The findings, published in the journal Nature, represent the most comprehensive assessment to date of N2O, also known as "laughing gas", involving 57 scientists from 14 countries.
The study also showed how effective actions could reduce those emissions, as has happened in Europe.