Effects of C02 on Nitrous Oxide Emissions

By | June 13, 2013

 

nitrous_oxide

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[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]

 

In the words of Cantarel et al. (2011), nitrous oxide (N2O) is “an influential greenhouse gas,” with a per-molecule global warming potential “approximately 300 times that of CO2 (IPCC, 2001),” and they say it “has shown linear increases of 0.2-0.3% per year over the last few decades, largely as a result of changes in agricultural practices and direct emissions from agricultural soils (IPCC, 2007).” As a result, understanding the factors that control the concentration of N2O the atmosphere, and how the sources and sinks of N2O vary with changes in climate and other factors, has long been an important concern among the scientific community. And in this Summary, therefore, we review important research that has been conducted on this topic, beginning with a discussion of studies examining how increases in atmospheric CO2 might modify the release of N2O into the atmosphere.