Fertilizer produces far more greenhouse gas than expected

Farmers’ overuse of nitrogenous additives may explain puzzling emissions

By Beth Mole, 17:29 PM June 9, 2014

With an overload of fertilizer, soil microbes on farms may belch unexpectedly high levels of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with 300 times as much heat-trapping power as carbon dioxide. The finding may help explain why agricultural nitrous oxide emissions are much higher than some scientists had predicted and could give clues for how to curb farm pollution.

Soil microbes have long been known to convert nitrogen-rich crop fertilizers, including manure and synthetic fertilizers, into nitrous ox...

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