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Use of Nitrogen Fertilizers Increasing Nitrous Oxide Emissions

An international study led by Auburn University concluded that the significant use of nitrogen fertilizers in the production of food worldwide is increasing concentrations of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere. The study by an international consortium of scientists from 48 research institutions in 14 countries quantified global nitrous oxide sources and sinks. Nitrous oxide has risen 20% from pre-industrial level, driven predominantly by agriculture. The study’s co-leader summarized the key implications: “This new analysis calls for a full-scale rethink in the ways we use and abuse nitrogen fertilizers globally and urges us to adopt more sustainable practices in the way we produce food, including the reduction of food waste…These findings underscore the urgency and opportunities to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions worldwide to avoid the worst of climate impacts.”