Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Near-Surface Geochemistry and Geobiology

JUL 2012 - Fertilizer use responsible for increase in nitrous oxide in atmosphere

In a report published in the April 1, 2012 issue of Nature Geoscience, EPS faculty member Kristie Boering (also Dept. of Chemistry), former EPS graduate student Sunyoung Park, and their co-authors measured the nitrogen and oxygen isotopes in nitrous oxide in air samples collected since 1978 at the Cape Grim Air Pollution Baseline Station (pictured) and in air trapped in snow in Antarctica dating back to 1940. The trends in the isotopes represent a "smoking gun" showing unequivocably that increasing fertilizer use is responsible for the dramatic rise in atmospheric nitrous oxide, which is a major greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change. Read Press Release from UC Berkeley at http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/04/02/fertilizer-use-responsible-for-increase-in-nitrous-oxide-in-atmosphere/ Read the article at http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n4/abs/ngeo1421.html