• Wheat production 'boosts nitrous oxide concentrations'

Environmental Laboratory

Wheat production 'boosts nitrous oxide concentrations'

Sep 12 2008

New research reveals that the production of wheat causes increases of nitrous oxide concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere across its manufacturing chain.

The paper published in the Water and the Environment Journal from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management measured the life cycle assessment of nitrous oxide emissions of one tonne of wheat.

It revealed fertiliser production accounts for 35 per cent of the global warming potential of the production, followed by 27 per cent for on-farm use and 12 per cent for transportation emissions.

"Understanding of gas emissions from agricultural soils in these regions is necessary if we are to improve our knowledge of terrestrial global emissions," the report authors said.

They added that semi-arid and arid lands constitute a third of global land area and are widely used for agricultural purposes.

In April 2008, soil scientists at the Helmhotz Centre for Environmental Research announced the development of a new method to reduce the cost of treating wastewater contaminated with nitrogen.

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