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Prominence of the tropics in the recent rise of global nitrogen pollution.

08:00 EDT 29th March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Prominence of the tropics in the recent rise of global nitrogen pollution."

Nitrogen (N) pollution is shaped by multiple processes, the combined effects of which remain uncertain, particularly in the tropics. We use a global land biosphere model to analyze historical terrestrial-freshwater N budgets, considering the effects of anthropogenic N inputs, atmospheric CO, land use, and climate. We estimate that globally, land currently sequesters 11 (10-13)% of annual N inputs. Some river basins, however, sequester >50% of their N inputs, buffering coastal waters against eutrophication and society against greenhouse gas-induced warming. Other basins, releasing >25% more than they receive, are mostly located in the tropics, where recent deforestation, agricultural intensification, and/or exports of land N storage can create large N pollution sources. The tropics produce 56 ± 6% of global land N pollution despite covering only 34% of global land area and receiving far lower amounts of fertilizers than the extratropics. Tropical land use should thus be thoroughly considered in managing global N pollution.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Nature communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
Pages: 1437

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