Crushed rocks and fertiliser switches can cut nitrous oxide from farms | News World

Spreading crushed basalt on cropland and using special fertilisers that stop nitrogen loss could cut global agricultural emissions of a potent planet-warming gas by 25 per cent.

Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with 270 times more warming power than carbon dioxide. Global emissions have risen by 40 per cent in the past 40 years. Agriculture is a major driver, due to increased use of nitrogen-based fertilisers and growing livestock numbers.

Microbes in the soil convert ammonium from fertilisers and animal waste into nitrate and release nitrous oxide in the process. Chemical compounds that hamper this process, called nitrification inhibitors, can be added to fertilisers to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Spreading basalt rock dust on soils, a technique known as enhanced rock weathering (ERW), can also help by making the soil more…

Source www.newscientist.com

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