Notes - Fixing the global nitrogen problem -denitrifying...

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Fixing the global nitrogen problem -denitrifying bacteria and nitrogen fixing bacteria -78% Nitrogen in the air; 21% oxygen in the air -Non-point pollution: agriculture; point pollution: industry What is the Haber-Bosch process and what is it credited with? It takes non-reactive nitrogen out of the air to make ammonia, which is used in synthetic fertilizers. o TNT – trinitrotoluene Haber figured out how to do it, Bosch applied it to industrial agriculture Population grew from 1.6 billion to 6 billion in the 20 th century What are the consequences of too much nitrogen in the environment? Harmful algae blooms Coastal dead zones (AKA hypoxic zones) – oxygen depleted water Ozone pollution Air pollution – acid rain, nitric acid Biodiversity loss new species become more competitive with increasing amounts of reactive nitrogen Global warming Elevate incidence of several human diseases cancers, respiratory illnesses, malaria, Alzheimer’s, etc. o Increases the vectors, such as snails and mosquitoes What steps should be taken to reduce the consequences of too much nitrogen? Emphasis on efficient use of fertilizers Precision farming techniques o Applying fertilizer to plant roots o Using GPS & remote sensing equipment to calculate how much
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course GEO 271 taught by Professor Maingi during the Spring '11 term at Miami University.

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Notes - Fixing the global nitrogen problem -denitrifying...

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