Can Nitrogen Be Used To Combat Climate Change?

Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 14:42 in Earth & Climate

LANSING, Mich.--After more than a decade of research, a team of scientists has found that by releasing one pollutant into the environment, we might help capture another. Findings from one of the National Science Foundation's longest-running studies show that adding nitrogen to soil prompts northern hardwood forests to absorb more heat-trapping carbon dioxide.As the atmosphere's most abundant element, nitrogen plays a significant role in ecosystems, and one to which scientists and policymakers are paying greater attention. Growing evidence suggests that as humanity pumps more nitrogen into the environment, forests could become bigger carbon sinks and help mitigate climate change. But experts warn that it's a dangerous experiment that could have serious consequences. [More]

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