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Latest Nitrogen cycle Stories

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2011-03-05 11:30:52

Study examines the disposal of animal waste in large-scale swine productionNorth and South Carolina have seen a steady increase in swine production over the last 15 years. In North Carolina alone, swine production generates approximately a quarter of the state's gross farm receipts. The presence of so many large-scale pig farms leads to the problem of proper animal waste disposal.The most common practice in the Carolinas is storing animal waste in anaerobic lagoons. They are primarily used to...

2011-02-22 21:37:44

People who want to eat healthy and live sustainably have a new way to measure their impact on the environment: a Web-based tool that calculates an individual's "nitrogen footprint." The device was created by University of Virginia environmental scientist James N. Galloway; Allison Leach, a staff research assistant at U.Va.; and colleagues from the Netherlands and the University of Maryland. The calculator is a project of the International Nitrogen Initiative, a global network of scientists...

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2011-02-10 09:09:05

A coupled-cycles framework is essential to balancing human needs with the health of the planet If society wants to address big picture environmental problems, like global climate change, acid rain, and coastal dead zones, we need to pay closer attention to the Earth's coupled biogeochemical cycles. So reports a special issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, published this month by the Ecological Society of America. "There are nearly seven billion people on the planet. And our...

2010-12-21 23:26:42

In a study published December 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences (PNAS), a team of researchers including University of New Hampshire scientists Wilfred Wollheim, William McDowell, and Jody Potter details findings that show emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from global rivers and streams are three times previous estimates used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "“ the leading international body for the assessment of climate change....

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2010-10-08 18:00:00

Resulting ecological damage is serious, but could be reduced by wider use of more sustainable, time-honored practices Humans are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen through the burning of fossil fuels and an increase in nitrogen-producing industrial and agricultural activities, according to a new study. While nitrogen is an element that is essential to life, it is an environmental scourge at high levels. According to the study, excess nitrogen that is contributed by human activities pollutes...

2010-10-08 02:24:37

Resulting ecological damage is serious, but could be reduced by wider use of more sustainable, time-honored practices Humans are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen through the burning of fossil fuels and an increase in nitrogen-producing industrial and agricultural activities, according to a new study. While nitrogen is an element that is essential to life, it is an environmental scourge at high levels. According to the study, excess nitrogen that is contributed by human activities pollutes...

2010-08-09 14:20:54

Nitrogen-altering bacteria thrive under charcoal deposition When fire burns down a forest, nitrate levels go up, and the effects are persistent, according to recent research from University of Montana scientists. They found that charcoal deposited during fire events has the potential to stimulate the conversion of ammonia to nitrates, an important step in the nitrogen cycle. Led by Patrick Ball, the research team found that a type of bacteria that transforms ammonia into nitrates was found in...

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2010-07-28 11:56:36

Within the sludge of wastewater treatment plants is an invisible world teeming with microbes. Here, diverse species of bacteria convert solid and liquid wastes into gases, some of which contribute to global warming. Now two Stanford University engineers are developing a new sewage treatment process that would actually increase the production of two greenhouse gases "“ nitrous oxide (aka, "laughing gas") and methane "“ and use the gases to power the treatment plant. "Normally, we...

2010-05-18 08:22:30

Study suggests pollution reductions could help restoration efforts A new study to be published in the academic journal Reviews in Fisheries Science recommends that efforts to restore the endangered California delta smelt and other declining pelagic fish should more sharply focus on reducing nutrient pollution to the species' native waters. The research indicates these fish populations would greatly benefit from reductions in the amount of nitrogen flowing into the Sacramento-San Joaquin...

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2010-02-21 13:26:55

Flightless birds, blind cave shrimp, and other oddities suggest a "use it or lose it" tendency in evolution. In the microbial world, an unusual marine microorganism appears to have ditched several major metabolic pathways, leaving it with a remarkably reduced set of genes. This metabolic minimalist is a specialist uniquely suited to performing one very important function: taking nitrogen gas from the atmosphere and "fixing" it into a form that makes this essential nutrient available to other...