Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland May 6, 2010.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland May 6, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland May 6, 2010

2 Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge Water, water everywhere, And how the boards did shrink. Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland May 6, 2010

3 The Main Topics u Nr creation through time  Including a most important invention u Nr fate during energy and food production  By accident and on purpose u The Nitrogen Cascade  One thing leads to another u From Science to Solution  Integrated Nr management  Are your feet's too big?  A metric to determine your N footprint.

4 Timeline of Global Nr Creation by Human Activity 1850 to : where did 1.6 billion people get their nitrogen……  Nitrogen Sources  Natural creation  lightning  BNF  Anthropogenic Mining  guano  nitrate deposits  Anthropogenic creation  cultivation  other Galloway et al., 2003 Legumes Nr Creation, Tg N yr -1

5 Galloway et al., 2003 The world is running out of N Timeline of Global Nr Creation by Human Activity 1850 to : A challenge to the chemists of the world……… “England and all civilised nations stand in deadly peril of not having enough to eat. As mouths multiply, food resources dwindle. Land is a limited quantity, and the land that will grow wheat is absolutely dependent on difficult and capricious natural phenomena... I hope to point a way out of the colossal dilemma. It is the chemist who must come to the rescue of the threatened communities. It is through the laboratory that starvation may ultimately be turned into plenty... The fixation of atmospheric nitrogen is one of the great discoveries, awaiting the genius of chemists.” — Sir William Crookes Presidential Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science Published in Chemical News, 1898, 78, 125. Legumes

6 Nr Creation, Tg N yr -1 Timeline of Global Nr Creation by Human Activity 1850 to : Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch rose to the challenge. N 2 + 3H 2 --> 2NH 3 Haber Bosch Legumes Galloway et al., 2003

7 Timeline of Global Nr Creation by Human Activity 1850 to 2005 In 2005 ~190 Tg Nr was created by humans. Haber Bosch Fossil Fuel Total Nr Production Fossil fuel combustion, 25 Tg N yr -1 Cultivation-induced BNF, 40 Tg N yr -1 Haber-Bosch process Fertilizer 100 Tg N yr -1 Industrial feedstock 23 Tg N yr -1 Nr Creation, Tg N yr -1 Legumes Total Natural Range, terrestrial {

8 Take Away Message #1 For most populated regions of the world, humans create more reactive nitrogen through food and energy production than all the other biological species combined. Haber-Bosch process was arguably the most important invention human society has ever had. The world would be a very different place if the Haber- Bosch process was not invented 100 years ago. Now let’s examine Nr fate during energy and food production with time

9 Nitrogen Drivers in 1860 Grain Production Meat Production Energy Production

10 NO y N2N2N2N2 NH x 5 6 The Global Nitrogen Budget in 1860 and mid-1990s, TgN/yr Galloway et al.,

11 Grain Production Meat Production Energy Production Nitrogen Drivers in 1860 & Now

12 NO y N2N2N2N2 NH x 5 6 NO y N2N2N2N2 NH x N 2 + 3H 2 2NH 3 The Global Nitrogen Budget in 1860 and mid-1990s, TgN/yr 1860 mid-1990s Galloway et al., 2004

13 Nitrogen Deposition mg N/m 2 /yr Nitrogen is emitted as NOx to the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion Nitrogen is emitted as NH 3 and NOx from food production. Once emitted, it is transported and deposited to ecosystems. In 1860, human activities had limited influence on N deposition. Galloway et al., 2004

14 Nitrogen Deposition mg N/m 2 /yr Nitrogen is emitted as NOx to the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion Nitrogen is emitted as NH 3 and NOx from food production. Once emitted, it is transported and deposited to ecosystems. In 1860, human activities had limited influence on N deposition. By 2000, the picture had changed. Galloway et al., 2004

15 Sidebar on Nr Distribution u Anthropogenic Nr is formed on continents, used there, and distribution to the global environment after its use. u Two emerging issues on Nr distribution u Atmospheric advection vs. riverine losses u Nature vs. the global economy

16 Nitrogen in Internationally Traded Fertilizer, Grain and Meat Fertilizer, 31 Tg N

17 Nitrogen in Internationally Traded Fertilizer, Grain and Meat Fertilizer, 31 Tg N Grain, 11 Tg N

18 Nitrogen in Internationally Traded Fertilizer, Grain and Meat Fertilizer, 31 Tg N Grain, 11 Tg N Meat, 0.7 Tg N

19 Timeline of Global Nr Creation by Human Activity 1850 to Tg Nr is created from N 2 each year to produce food Haber Bosch Total But People only need 13 Tg N. And they consume 30 Tg N. Why do we create 140 Tg N? Nr Creation, Tg N yr -1 Legumes Fossil Fuel

20 Crop production: - Crop type - Cropped area - Management Groundwater & surface waters N inputs: N fertilizer & BNF Consumed Crops NH 4 + NO 3 - DON N part NH 3 N 2 O NO X N 2 NH 4 + NO 3 - DON N part Nitrogen: A Very Leaky Element Atmosphere Agriculture 20% Oenema, 2009

21 And What About Meat?

22 Crop production: - Crop type - Cropped area - Management Consumed Animal Products Groundwater & surface waters N inputs: N fertilizer & BNF Animal production: - Animal species - Animal number - Management Consumed Crops NH 4 + NO 3 - DON N part NH 3 N 2 O NO X N 2 NH 4 + NO 3 - DON N part NH 3 N 2 O NO X N 2 Nitrogen: A Very Leaky Element NH 3 N 2 O NO X N 2 Atmosphere feed Agriculture 20% 10% Oenema, 2009

23 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Nr N2N2 Food Production Menzel & D'Aluisio, 2005

24 N2N2 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Nr N2N2 Energy Production Food Production Menzel & D'Aluisio, 2005

25 Take Away Message #2 Essentially all the reactive N created is lost to the environment, where some portion accumulates in soils, waters, biomass and the atmosphere. Meat production is growing regionally and globally,and has a profound impact on Nr creation. International transport of N-commodities is more efficient at distributing N globally than air or water. Now, let’s look at impact of Nr on environment

26 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Too Much Nitrogen; Too Many Consequences Smog, Haze Eutrophication Forest Die-back Acidification Global Warming Ozone Hole John Aber

27 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Too Much Nitrogen: In a Cascade Smog, Haze Eutrophication Forest Die-backAcidification Global Warming Ozone Hole John Aber

28 Take Away Message #3 In addition to feeding about half of the world, anthropogenic reactive nitrogen increases tropospheric ozone and particulate matter, increases the acidity of soils, streams and lakes, changes the ecosystem productivity, increases tropospheric global warming potential, decreases stratospheric ozone. One nitrogen atom can contribute to each of these environmental changes, in sequence. These changes have profound consequences for ecosystem and human health. Now, what can be done--can the science support a solution?

29 From Science to Solution  The over all goal is to optimize nitrogen’s benefits while minimizing its problems.  Produce food with minimal Nr loss to environment  Produce energy with no Nr loss to environment  Strategy  Be clear about the science  Identify control points at both ends of Nr stream  Take advantage of existing instruments  Link to broader issues.  Global Case Study

30 Control Points in the Nitrogen Cycle 190 Tg N/yr Galloway et al, 2008

31 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Nr Nitrogen: The Good, the Bad, and the Difficult 1.Control Fossil Fuel Combustion 2.Increase N Uptake Efficiencies in Crops & Animals 3.manage manure 4.Improve Sewage Treatment N2N2 N2N2

32 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Nr Nitrogen: The Good, the Bad, and the Difficult 1.Control Fossil Fuel Combustion 2.Increase N Uptake Efficiencies in Crops & Animals 3.Manage manure 4.Improve Sewage Treatment N2N2 N2N2

33 ENVIRONMENTENVIRONMENT Nr Nitrogen: The Good, the Bad, and the Difficult 1.Control Fossil Fuel Combustion 2.Increase N Uptake Efficiencies in Crops & Animals 3.Manage manure 4.Improve Sewage Treatment N2N2 N2N2

34 Control Points in the Nitrogen Cycle Galloway et al, 2008

35 Take Away Message #4 For the US, there are several actions that can be taken to decrease both Nr creation, and Nr losses to the environment. fossil fuel combustion fertilizer uptake feed retention manure management sewage treatment If all were taken, there would be a 25% decrease in Nr loss to environment. Now enough about N; let’s talk about us.

36 An Introduction to the Nitrogen Calculator Allison Leach, UVA (USA) Jan Willem Erisman, ECN (NL) Albert Bleeker, ECN (NL) Rick Kohn, UMD (USA) Jim Galloway, UVA (USA)

37 Overall goals 1. Calculate an entity’s contribution to N losses, through resource consumption (N-Calculator) 2. Assess the resulting contribution to environmental impacts (N-Print)

38 Intended uses  Target audiences of N Calculator: –Individual consumers (general public) –Producers, governments, universities  N Calculator capabilities –Average per capita footprint of a country –N footprint of an individual, community, etc. –N footprint of a meal

39 Methodology  Starts with the average per capita consumption in a country of these resources: –Food –Housing and mobility –Resources (goods and services)  Estimates N lost per unit of resource consumption  User answers questions about resource consumption to find N footprint

40 USA per capita N Footprint

41

42  USA per capita N footprint: 60 kg N/yr –Food (50 kg N/yr)  Consumption: 8 kg N/yr  Production, pre-consumption (virtual): 42 kg N/yr –Other  Housing, mobility, goods, and services: 10 kg N/yr In contrast, the average adult needs to consume only 2-3 kg N/yr USA per capita N Footprint Almost all of the ‘other’ is driven by fossil fuel combustion

43 USA & Netherlands N Footprint Comparison

44 The Four Components of N-Print

45 Conclusions  Food consumption is ultimately responsible for more N emissions than any other sector –Food production releases more N than consumption –Meat production releases more N than other sectors  Next steps: –Public launch of N-Print website:  N-Print.org –N Calculators for other countries  China, India, UK, Germany, and others –Development of fully integrated N-Print tool

46 Another Aspect of N-Related Problems in the Environment One week’s worth of food Lots of Water (salt) Not the Right Type (fresh) Menzel & D'Aluisio, 2005

47 Lots of Water (salt) Not the Right Type (fresh) Lots of Nitrogen (N 2 ) Not the Right Type (Nr) The other side of the nitrogen problem, Too little nitrogen in too many regions Another Aspect of N-Related Problems in the Environment Menzel & D'Aluisio, 2005

48 Nr Creation Rates 1995 (left) and 2050 (right) TgN/yr 2050 rates scaled by: -> population increase relative to 1995 after Galloway and Cowling, 2002

49 Nr Creation Rates 1995 (left) and 2050 (right) TgN/yr 2050 rates scaled by: -> population increase relative to > N. Amer. percapita Nr creation in 1995 after Galloway and Cowling, 2002

50 Concluding Thoughts  Humans now dominate Nr introduction into environment.  There is a rapid rate of environmental change that is magnified by the N cascade.  There are large parts of the world that suffer from N deficiency.  There are actions that can be taken now to address nitrogen-related issues in the environment; additional actions are required.  A key challenge is to communicate the issues of N to the stakeholders—consumers, producers, governments

51 Nitrogen: Time to Diminish the Cascade

52 N Footprint—Western Cookout Dinner Steak 12 g N consumed 40 g N virtual 52 g N total

53 N Footprint—Western Cookout Dinner SteakChicken 12 g N consumed 40 g N virtual 52 g N total 10 g N consumed 30 g N virtual 40 g N total

54 N Footprint—Western Cookout Dinner SteakChickenVegetarian 12 g N consumed 40 g N virtual 52 g N total 10 g N consumed 30 g N virtual 40 g N total 8 g N consumed 12 g N virtual 20 g N total

55 Netherlands per capita N Footprint

56

57  NL per capita N footprint: 43 kg N/yr –Food (39 kg N/yr)  Consumption: 7 kg N/yr  Production, pre-consumption (virtual): 32 kg N/yr –Other (US values)  Housing, mobility, goods, and services 4 kg N/yr In contrast, the average adult needs to consume only 2-3 kg N/yr Almost all of the ‘other’ is driven by fossil fuel combustion Netherlands per capita N Footprint


Download ppt "Nitrogen: A Story of Food, Fuel and Fiber Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland May 6, 2010."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google