Emission of Nitrous Oxide from Streams and Rivers studied by Scientists

Scientists are studying the emissions of nitrous oxide regulated from streams and rivers contributed by the population of microorganisms.

Jan 16, 2014 11:54 IST
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Scientists are trying to understand the emission of nitrous oxide that is regulated from streams and rivers and is contributed by the population of microorganisms. Nitrous Oxide is a compound made by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen is a potent greenhouse gas and making a contribution to the climate change.

At present the scientists from the Boise State University and University of Idaho have collaborated to conduct a research on an artificial stream that is called flume and at sites located in Idaho Water Center in Broadway and Front Streets in the downtown Boise. The project has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Nitrous Oxide is basically used in the fertilizers, which finds their way to the waterways from agriculture runoff. Nitrous Oxide is also known as the laughing gas, which also impacts the atmosphere of earth.

Impact of Nitrous Oxide Emissions

Chemical Formula of Nitrous Oxide is N2O and its lifetime in the atmosphere is 120 years. Its potential of global warming is up to 100 years and one pound of N2O contributes 300 times than that of one pound of Carbon Dioxide. Globally, about 40% of total N2O emissions come from human activities. Human activities like combustion of fossil fuel, agriculture, wastewater management and industrial processes are contributing in the increase of Nitrogen Oxide in the atmosphere.

Nitrous oxide is removed from the atmosphere after being absorbed by certain types of bacteria or it is destroyed by ultraviolet radiation or chemical reactions.

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