Nitrous oxide or N2O is the third largest source of GHG emissions behind carbon dioxide and methane. Also known as laughing gas, it’s long-lived like carbon dioxide and incredibly potent like methane. And it accounts for about 6% of global warming.
So where does it come from? And what do we do about it?
In this episode, Shayle talks to Eric Davidson, professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and principal scientist at Spark Climate Solutions. Eric studies the surprising source of nitrous oxide: bacteria in the soil. Eric and Shayle talk about topics like:
How the application of nitrogen fertilizer causes more emissions than the production of fertilizer itself
The challenging economics of agriculture that cause farmers to over-apply fertilizer
How precise and timely application of fertilizer could cut emissions
New livestock feed additives that could replace the N2O-intensive crops in animal feed
New crops that require less fertilizer
Nature Climate Change: Improving the social cost of nitrous oxide
The Conversation: New research: nitrous oxide emissions 300 times more powerful than CO₂ are jeopardizing Earth’s future
Nature: A comprehensive quantification of global nitrous oxide sources and sinks
Come watch a live episode of The Carbon Copy! Canary Media and Post Script Media are hosting a live event at Greentown Labs in Somerville, Mass. on April 6. We’ll record a live episode of The Carbon Copy with some very special guests. Get your tickets today.
Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.
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