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Articles on Nitrogen

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A helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Alaska. Michael Risinger/U.S. Army National Guard

As extreme fires transform Alaska’s boreal forest, deciduous trees put a brake on carbon loss and how fast the forest burns

A new study finds more deciduous trees like aspen are growing in after severe fires in the region, and that has some unexpected impacts.
Tampa Bay’s sea grass meadows need sunlight to thrive. Algae blooms block that light and can be toxic to marine life. Joe Whalen Caulerpa/Tampa Bay Estuary Program via Unsplash

Water being pumped into Tampa Bay could cause a massive algae bloom, putting fragile manatee and fish habitats at risk

Harmful algae blooms are an increasing problem in Florida. Once nutrients are in the water to fuel them, little can be done to stop the growth, and the results can be devastating for marine life.
Shutterstock

New research: nitrous oxide emissions 300 times more powerful than CO₂ are jeopardising Earth’s future

Agriculture is the dominant cause for the increasing N₂O concentrations. Emissions must be reduced if we hope to stabilise Earth’s climate.
Breathing pure oxygen would be like fireworks exploding in your body. And that’s not always a good thing. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: what happens if you breathe pure oxygen?

You might think the more oxygen you breathe in the better. But too much oxygen can make you sick.
Planting cover crops, like this red clover in Sussex County, Delaware, can help return carbon to farm fields. Michele Dorsey Walfred/Flickr

Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal

Storing more carbon in soil helps slow climate change and makes croplands more productive. But there are two kinds of soil carbon that are both important, but function very differently.
The benefits of beans, lentils and other pulses go beyond the belly. (Shutterstock)

Benefits of pulses: Good for you and the planet

Today’s production of more, better food from the same amount land means that tomorrow’s population may not go hungry.
Transport and livestock are both significant contributors to nitrogen pollution. Annalucia/Shutterstock.com

You’ve heard of a carbon footprint – now it’s time to take steps to cut your nitrogen footprint

The University of Melbourne is the first institution in Australia to have its nitrogen footprint calculated – it’s 139 tonnes per year, mainly because of food production, energy use and transport.
Long’s Peak framed by rock outcrop, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Roy Luck

Nitrogen from rock could fuel more plant growth around the world – but not enough to prevent climate change

Scientists have long thought most nitrogen in Earth’s ecosystems comes from the air, but new research shows it also is released as rocks weather. This could boost plant growth and help sequester carbon – but not fast enough to avert climate change, as some pundits have claimed.

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