Journal Highlights

A review of the human impact on the nitrogen cycle

Editor's Highlight

This paper presents a synthesis of literature on the human alteration of the nitrogen cycle, bringing previous reviews up to date with the latest publications. The authors also make an interesting comparison between the human impacts on the carbon and nitrogen cycles, benefits to humanity from those perturbations, and environmental challenges we face because of this. Improving the public’s understanding of the significance of a perturbed global nitrogen cycle is important to both the public and local and regional decision makers. 

Blog—Unprecedented levels of nitrogen could pose danger to Earth’s environment

Contribution to the amount of nitrogen available to plants on land is now five times higher than it was 60 years ago, mainly due to increases in the synthetic production of fertilizer and nitrogen-producing crops, according to a new study. This increase in nitrogen parallels the exponential growth of atmospheric carbon, the main culprit behind climate change, and could pose as much of a danger to Earth’s environment, according to the study’s authors.

Human production of fixed nitrogen, used mostly to fertilize crops, now accounts for about half of the total fixed nitrogen added to the Earth, both on land and in the oceans, according to the new study that provides updated estimates of the global nitrogen budget…more

Article Category

Is nitrogen the next carbon?

William Battye, Viney P. Aneja, William H. Schlesinger
First Published:
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Open Access


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