Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dodds contributes to new national study on nitrogen water pollution

21.12.2010
A Kansas State University professor is part of a national research team that discovered that streams and rivers produce three times more greenhouse gas emissions than estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Through his work on the Konza Prairie Biological Station and other local streams, Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor of biology, helped demonstrate that nitrous oxide emissions from rivers and streams make up at least 10 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions -- three times greater than current estimates by the climate change panel.

"This research deals with two important issues," Dodds said. "First, nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas. Second, nitrous oxide also destroys ozone in the upper atmosphere, exposing us to more ultra violet radiation."

The research, "Nitrous oxide emission from denitrification in stream and river networks," appears in this week's Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

... more about:
»greenhouse gas »nitrous oxide

For the article, researchers from 23 institutions -- including K-State -- measured nitrous oxide production in 72 streams that drain native, urban or agricultural lands. Nine of those streams were in the Manhattan area, with three at Konza.

The level of nitrous oxide in streams and rivers is related to human activities that can release nitrogen into the environment, such as sewage runoff or crop fertilization. When this nitrogen reaches rivers and streams, it undergoes denitrification, a microbial process that converts nitrogren to nitrous oxide gas, called N2O, and an inert gas called dinitrogen, or N2.

As a greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide has global warming potential that is 300-fold greater than carbon dioxide. In the past century, concentration of atmospheric nitrous oxide has increased 20 percent, making it a strong contributor to climate change and ozone destruction.

"We show that river networks play an important role in how human nitrogen additions for crops influence the global environment," Dodds said.

The findings can lead to more effective mitigation strategies, Dodds said. Researchers suggest that nitrous oxide emissions can be reduced from river networks by changing agricultural and urban land-use practices, such as better management practices for fertilizers. By decreasing nitrogen input to watersheds, the production of nitrous oxide also diminishes.

Jake Beaulieu of the Environmental Protection Agency is the lead author of the paper, produced as part of a project headed by Patrick Mulholland of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. From 2005 to 2007 the team received $3 million from the National Science Foundation to investigate nitrogen pollution in streams. K-State received $320,000 of the grant.

Walter Dodds | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

Further reports about: greenhouse gas nitrous oxide

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

23.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Joining metals without welding

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics

23.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>