Addressing nitrous oxide: An often ignored climate and ozone threat. Policy Brief of the workshop on “Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture”
Scheer, C., Pelster, D., Butterbach-Bahl, K., Cleemput, O. Van, Kanter, D., Winiwarter, W., Ogle, S., Boeckx, P., Fuchs, K., Baggs, E., Bakken, L., Barton, L., Cardenas, L., Clough, T., DelGrosso, S., Dorich, C., Friedl, J., Hu, C., Leitner, S., Massad, R., Peterson, S.O., Skiba, U., Smith, W., Subbarao, G.V., Vogeler, I. and Wagner-Riddle, C. Addressing nitrous oxide: An often ignored climate and ozone threat. Policy Brief of the workshop on “Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture” Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 15-16 April, 2019. https://mopga.imk-ifu.kit.edu/sites/mopga/files/inline-files/Policy%20Brief%20-%20Nr-Workshop%20Garmisch%20final.pdf
Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for all forms of life. However, most nitrogen on Earth is not readily available. To make N available for agricultural production, we rely on two processes: biological N fixation by leguminous crops and (since 1910) industrial N fixation via the Haber- Bosch process. The latter has been essential to boost crop production and food security for an increasing world population. In practice, N application is inefficient (most of the developed world), lacking (most of the developing world), or both. This unbalanced use of N causes severe environmental problems, exceeding safe thresholds for human and ecosystem health. Lead scientists from around the globe recently came together for a meeting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany supported by the OECD Co-operative Research Programme: Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems. They exchanged and assessed the latest knowledge and agreed that, despite uncertainties and the need for additional research on processes driving N2O emissions, there is sufficient knowledge available to implement immediate action towards reducing N pollution, specifically N2O emissions.