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Emissions of Nitrous Oxide, a Climate Super-Pollutant, Are Rising Fast

“Fertilizer is a leading culprit in nitrous oxide emissions, which are nearly 300 times more potent at warming the planet than carbon dioxide and deplete ozone.”

“Emissions of nitrous oxide, a climate super-pollutant hundreds of times more potent than carbon dioxide, are rising faster than previously thought—at a rate that not only threatens international targets to limit global warming, but is consistent with a worst-case trajectory for climate change, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, underscore the need for strong climate policies that do not focus solely on carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas.

The study, arguably the most comprehensive assessment of the global nitrogen cycle ever conducted, found that nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions caused by human activities have increased by 30 percent since 1980. Those emissions, more than two-thirds of which come from agriculture, account for nearly half of all nitrous oxide released over the past decade, with the rest coming from natural ecosystems.”

Phil McKenna reports for InsideClimate News October 7, 2020.