Centennial-scale analysis of the creation and fate of reactive nitrogen in China (1910-2010)

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Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Document Type: Author abstract; Report
Length: 271 words

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Abstract :

Human mobilization and use of reactive nitrogen (Nr) has been one of the major aspects of global change over the past century. Nowhere has that change been more dramatic than in China, where annual net Nr creation increased from 9.2 to 56 Tg from 1910 to 2010. Since 1956, anthropogenic Nr creation exceeded natural Nr creation, contributing over 80% of total Nr until 2010. There is great interest and uncertainty in the fate and effects of this Nr in China. Here, a comprehensive inventory of Nr in China shows that Nr (including recycled Nr) has continuously and increasingly accumulated on land (from 17 to 45 Tg), accompanied by increasing transfers to the atmosphere (before deposition; from 7.6 to 20 Tg), inland waters (from 2.7 to 9.6 Tg), and coastal waters (from 4.5 to 7.7 Tg) over the past 30 y. If current trends continue, Nr creation from human activities will increase to 63 Tg by 2050, raising concerns about deleterious environmental consequences for land, air, and water at regional and global scales. Tremendous amounts of Nr have accumulated in plants, soils, and waters in China over the past 30 y, but the retention capacity of the terrestrial landscape seems to be declining. There is a possibility that the negative environmental effects of excessive Nr may accelerate in coming decades, increasing the urgency to alter the trajectory of increasing Nr imbalance. Here, a conceptual framework of the relationships between human drivers and Nr cycling in China is oriented and well-targeted to Chinese abatement strategies for Nr environmental impact. national nitrogen budget | biogeochemical cycling | chemical fertilizer | nitrogen use efficiency doi/10.1073/pnas.1221638110

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A320423447