Fixing the Global Nitrogen Problem The primary issue of the nitrogen problem is to inform people how nitrogen effects the environment negatively. All living things need nitrogen and approximately 78 percent of the atmosphere contains nitrogen. However, nitrogen is the non-reactive gas that is known as inert, and can commonly be fixed with nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen fixation refers to the natural process by breaking the triple bond between two pairs of nitrogen atoms through a tiny group of bacteria.
Another small amount of nitrogen gas also comes from the natural phenomenon, and volcanic eruptions. There was a balance between the amount of nitrogen gas be produced and the nitrogen gas that be coveted back to nitrogen atoms. The balance has been broken due to the human activities, and the amount of the reactive nitrogen gas eventually fell far beyond the natural sources. Nitrogen contributes a series of serious problems for plants, human beings, and climate changes. To improve the growth rate of plants, nitrogen is usually added to the cornfields or lawns.
But, from the perspective of the ecosystem, the deep consequence behind that is quite risky: plants fail to take the possibilities that develop new competitive species in the whole ecosystem because they cannot adapt the nitrogen benefits equally. Furthermore, nitrogen does not only harm plants, but damages our own health also. The research of The National Institutes of Health shows that the growth of nitrate concentration in drinking water may increase the risk for quite an amount of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancers.
Next, evidences indicate that nitrogen is playing a significant role in climate change. The major products that are created by nitrogen in the atmosphere are ground-level ozone, which is defined as the important greenhouse gas. Such products are damaging to both the human’s body and plant tissues. A special concern occurs to nitrous oxide, the one of the strongest greenhouse gases that accelerates the global warming. Effective measurement should be taken before this problem get worse. Emphasizing effective use of fertilizer is the one of the solutions to this problem.
A study also showed that fewer fertilizers do not mean fewer corps. Furthermore, high technique such as precision farming techniques also benefits for resolving the problem, as farmers can get the maximum crops using least fertilizer. However, high costs for high-tech equipments cannot be afforded by most independent farms. Instead of it, cheaper but effective methods become the better choices, which include planting winter cover crops and add fertilizer before spring instead of fall.
Changing the diets of animals with more grass and less corn can also help people to avoid the excess nitrogen while eating the meat. Finally, the sources of nitrogen pollution are supposed to eliminate and control. This resolves to the next question: how to get the solutions done? Proper environment standards should be emphasized as well as the use of fertilizer. The market limitation is also helpful since it has made remarkable success on the sulfur dioxide emissions.
A similar approach is suggested for nitrogen pollution. On the side of agricultural industry, a better design for crop fields are becoming causes of wide concerns. To ensure the crop fields are fringed by wetland and near water have remarkable consequence for the less amount of nitrogen production run through the lakes or oceans. Moreover, it funds farmers who reduce the use of fertilizer and better public education also encourages people to focus on the problem and cultivate the awareness for environmental protection.