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Analysis and Comment (7)

Sewage would be useful if it wasn’t mixed in together. Sewage would be useful if it wasn’t mixed in together. EPA

Why not change the way you wee to save the world?

The critical links between water, sanitation, and our global consumption of energy – the “energy-water nexus” are more obvious than ever before. But how many of us will take direct action at the most basic…
Megafauna such as Glyptodon were muck-spreaders. Megafauna such as Glyptodon were muck-spreaders. Pavel Riha

Megafauna extinction affects ecosystems 12,000 years later

If Earth were like a human body, large animals might be its arteries, moving nutrients from where they’re abundant to where they’re needed. Currently the planet has large regions where life is limited…
Plants that breathe nitrogen. Plants that breathe nitrogen. University of Nottingham

Making fertiliser out of thin air will revolutionise agriculture

Each year more than 1 million tonnes of mineral nitrogen fertiliser is applied to arable and grass crops in the UK. This pollutes waterways through nitrate run-off and the atmosphere from the release of…
Fertiliser: essential for feeding the country, but you can have too much of a good thing. Fertiliser: essential for feeding the country, but you can have too much of a good thing. ILO in Asia and the Pacific

Easing China’s fertiliser habit will have global significance

A joint project between scientists in the UK and China has shown how improved methods of manufacturing nitrogen fertiliser and better use of it by farmers could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by hundreds…
Toilets aren’t just a bin for human waste - they’re a receptacle for future fertiliser. Toilets aren’t just a bin for human waste - they’re a receptacle for future fertiliser. Gates Foundation

The other benefit of sanitation: from human waste to human food

What goes down our toilet is commonly viewed as waste. This makes intuitive sense because separating people from their excreta - sanitation - is arguably the single most important public health objective…
Overuse of nitrogen fertiliser can have nasty environmental consequences. Overuse of nitrogen fertiliser can have nasty environmental consequences. eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr

Agriculture’s hunger for nitrogen oversteps planetary boundaries

Planet Earth has boundaries for its biophysical subsystems. By 2009, we had already exceeded three of the boundaries – climate change, biodiversity loss, and the nitrogen cycle. Climate change is a top-of-mind…
Another wave is coming: the coral-killing crown of thorns starfish. Another wave is coming: the coral-killing crown of thorns starfish. Flickr/<SLIM>

Great Barrier Reef dying beneath its crown of thorns

The Great Barrier Reef is under attack from a range of enemies including climate change effects (coral bleaching, increased severe storms, and ocean acidification), pollutant discharge from the land, coastal…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (6)