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N2O Emissions from the Global Agricultural Nitrogen Cycle – Current State and Future Scenarios : Volume 9, Issue 10 (31/10/2012)

By Bodirsky, B. L.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003976103
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 29
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: N2O Emissions from the Global Agricultural Nitrogen Cycle – Current State and Future Scenarios : Volume 9, Issue 10 (31/10/2012)  
Author: Bodirsky, B. L.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 10
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Dietrich, J. P., Scheiffele, L., Weindl, I., Bodirsky, B. L., Rolinski, S., Schmitz, C.,...Popp, A. (2012). N2O Emissions from the Global Agricultural Nitrogen Cycle – Current State and Future Scenarios : Volume 9, Issue 10 (31/10/2012). Retrieved from

Description: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany. Reactive nitrogen (Nr) is not only an important nutrient for plant growth, thereby safeguarding human alimentation, but it also heavily disturbs natural systems. To mitigate air, land, aquatic, and atmospheric pollution caused by the excessive availability of Nr, it is crucial to understand the long-term development of the global agricultural Nr cycle.

For our analysis, we combine a material flow model with a land-use optimization model. In a first step we estimate the state of the Nr cycle in 1995. In a second step we create four scenarios for the 21st century in line with the SRES storylines.

Our results indicate that in 1995 only half of the Nr applied to croplands was incorporated into plant biomass. Moreover, less than 10 per cent of all Nr in cropland plant biomass and grazed pasture was consumed by humans. In our scenarios a strong surge of the Nr cycle occurs in the first half of the 21st century, even in the environmentally oriented scenarios. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions rise from 3 Tg N2O-N in 1995 to 7–9 in 2045 and 5–12 Tg in 2095. Reinforced Nr pollution mitigation efforts are therefore required.

N2O emissions from the global agricultural nitrogen cycle – current state and future scenarios

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