• 1 hour India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 6 hours Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 10 hours Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 16 hours Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 18 hours Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 19 hours Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 2 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 2 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 2 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 2 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 2 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 2 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 2 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 2 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 2 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 2 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 3 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 3 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 3 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 3 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 3 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 5 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 5 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 6 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 6 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 6 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 6 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 6 days Renewable Energy Startup Powering Native American Protest Camp
  • 6 days Husky Energy Set To Restart Pipeline
  • 6 days Russia, Morocco Sign String Of Energy And Military Deals
  • 7 days Norway Looks To Cut Some Of Its Generous Tax Breaks For EVs
  • 7 days China Set To Continue Crude Oil Buying Spree, IEA Says
  • 7 days India Needs Help To Boost Oil Production
  • 7 days Shell Buys One Of Europe’s Largest EV Charging Networks
  • 7 days Oil Throwback: BP Is Bringing Back The Amoco Brand
  • 7 days Libyan Oil Output Covers 25% Of 2017 Budget Needs
  • 7 days District Judge Rules Dakota Access Can Continue Operating
  • 8 days Surprise Oil Inventory Build Shocks Markets
  • 8 days France’s Biggest Listed Bank To Stop Funding Shale, Oil Sands Projects
  • 8 days Syria’s Kurds Aim To Control Oil-Rich Areas
Alt Text

Trump Set To Pull U.S. Out Of Paris Climate Deal

President Donald Trump has reportedly…

Alt Text

Did This Startup Solve The Carbon Capture Challenge?

Costs have long prohibited carbon…

Rivers are a Major Contributor to Greenhouse Gases

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is a chemical compound with the formula N2O. At room temperature, it is a colorless non-flammable gas, with a slightly sweet odor and taste. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas, accounting for around 6% of the estimated heating effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. According to 2006 data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, industrial sources make up only about 20% of human caused industrial sources.

Other human activity may account for 30%; tropical soils and oceanic release account for 70%. Human-caused nitrogen loading to river networks is a potentially important source of nitrous oxide emission to the atmosphere which may have been severely underestimated. It happens via a microbial process called denitrification, which converts nitrates to nitrous oxide and other gases.

When summed across the globe, scientists report this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), that river and stream networks are the source of at least 10 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions to the atmosphere.

That's three times the amount estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Rates of nitrous oxide production via denitrification in small streams increase with nitrate concentrations.

Denitrification is a microbially facilitated process of nitrate reduction that may ultimately produce molecular nitrogen through a series of intermediate gaseous nitrogen oxide products. This respiratory process reduces oxidized forms of nitrogen in response to the oxidation of an electron donor such as organic matter. Many Nitrogen oxide types may evolve at the same time. In terms of the general nitrogen cycle, denitrification completes the cycle by returning N2 to the atmosphere. The process is performed primarily by heterotrophic bacteria.

"Human activities, including fossil fuel combustion and intensive agriculture, have increased the availability of nitrogen in the environment," says Jake Beaulieu of the University of Notre Dame and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lead author of the PNAS paper.

Nitrates are highly soluble and are present in many fertilizers and are easily transported by water flow into streams and from there all thew way to the sea. Denitrification is just the natural way to covert excess nitrates (food to the bacteria) back into Nitrogen to begin the cycle all over again.

"Much of this nitrogen is transported into river and stream networks," he says, "where it may be converted to nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, via the activity of microbes."

Beaulieu and co-authors measured nitrous oxide production rates from denitrification in 72 streams draining multiple land-use types across the United States.

"This multi-site experiment clearly establishes streams and rivers as important sources of nitrous oxide," says Henry Gholz, program director in NSF's Division of Environmental Biology, which funded the research.

Atmospheric nitrous oxide concentration has increased by some 20 percent over the past century, and continues to rise at a rate of about 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.

The global warming potential of nitrous oxide is estimated as 300-fold greater than just carbon dioxide.

While more than 99 percent of denitrified nitrogen in streams is converted to the inert gas nitrogen rather than nitrous oxide, river networks are still the leading sources of global nitrous oxide emissions, according to the new results.

By. Andy Soos




Back to homepage


Comments currently closed.

  • Anonymous on December 27 2010 said:
    You are right.Many of the IPCC's predictions have fallen short:Carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.The tropics are expanding faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.Atlantic hurricane intensity has increased faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.The recent Arctic sea-ice retreat is larger than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.The sea-level rise of 3.3 millimetres per year from 1993 – 2006, was higher than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.As a matter of fact, in 2001 the IPCC thought that neither Greenland nor Antarctica would lose ice mass by 2100. They both already have. Ice sheets appear to be shrinking 100 years ahead of schedule and the retreat is accelerating.It must be just one big “Inconvenient Coincidence”?
  • Anonymous on December 28 2010 said:
    The IPCC certainly deserves to be discredited, although not for the imaginative reasons listed above.For those who see the changing Earth as too terrible a vision to bear, many political jurisdictions have legalized physician-assisted suicide. Those who feel that their own personal green house gas contributions to the atmosphere are having a destructive effect, may want to consider that alternative.Those who feel that the alarmist scare-spookers may have gone off the rails, may consider living on to see what may come next.You can be sure that grifting carbon hysterics are losing their grip, and will be unable to pull off the carbon con-job they have been shooting for.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News