Advertisement

Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agricultural Farms and Its Contribution to Global Warming

  • Haile Arefayne ShishayeEmail author
Chapter
  • 81 Downloads
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

Global warming is a universal issue caused by increasing atmospheric greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). N2O is produced from natural and anthropogenic sources. Microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification produce N2O which is then released into the atmosphere. This research aims to estimate the emission rate of N2O through denitrification processes in a mechanized sugarcane farm in Metahara, Ethiopia. The LEACHN/LEACHM model was used to estimate the rate of denitrification and emission of N2O. The model was calibrated by groundwater nitrate concentrations estimated from laboratory measurements using the APHA 4500-NO3-B, Ultraviolet Spectrophotometric screening method. The results show that the amount of atmospheric nitrogen (N2O and N2) produced due to denitrification processes in the farm was 230.4 kg/ha/year. The share of N2O from this estimate was 1/41th, as the soil in the farm was alkaline (pH = 9.0). As a result, the annual N2O emission from the farm was estimated to be 5.62 kg/ha/year. This implies that the current farm management and nutrient and water application scenario in the area is causing a significant amount of N2O emissions to the atmosphere, which in turn has a collective impact on global warming.

Keywords

Denitrification LEACHN Nitrogen cycle Nitrogen application Nitrate leaching N2

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author wants to thank two anonymous reviewers and Dr. Jelena Barbir for their insightful suggestions which greatly improved the manuscript. The author is also thankful for his colleagues Mr. Michael Reading (Ph.D. candidate at Southern Cross University) and Mr. Gebremedhin Gebremeskel Haile (Ph.D. candidate at Chinese Science Academy) for their valuable suggestions and proofreading the manuscript.

References

  1. Ahmed M, Anchukaitis K, Asrat A et al (2013) Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia. Nat Geosci 6:339–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrew O, Erin B (2002) Chemistry and the nitrogen cycle. Alaska agriculture in the classroom, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  3. Arne S, William L, James S (1997) Denitrification as a component of the nitrogen budget for a large plains river. Biogeochemistry 39:327–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aurepio A (2012) Ammonium sulfate nitrate. http://www.aurepio.pl/en/nitrogen-fertilizers/ammonium-sulphate-nitrate-s250. Accessed 12 Dec 2015
  5. Australian Academy of Science (2015) The science of climate change: questions and answers. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, www.science.org.au/climatechange. Accessed 3 April 2019
  6. Barbarick KA (2014) Nitrogen sources and transformation. Fact Sheet No. 0.550, Colorado State University Extension, Colorado, USAGoogle Scholar
  7. Barry AJD, Goorahoo D, Goss M (1993) Estimation of nitrate concentrations in groundwater using a whole farm nitrogen budget. J Environ Qual 22:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barton PK, Atwater JW (2002) Nitrous oxide emissions and the anthropogenic nitrogen in wastewater and solid waste. J Environ Eng 1–12Google Scholar
  9. Beaulieu et al (2011) Nitrous oxide emission from denitrification in stream and river networks. PNAS Environ Sci 108(1):214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Biggs I (2003) An investigation of sugarcane nitrogen physiology: sources, uptake and metabolism. Ph.D. Thesis, The Queensland University, School of Integrative BiologyGoogle Scholar
  11. Booker Tate Limited (2009) Re-evaluation of plantation soils at Metahara sugar factory. Masters Court, Church Road Thame, Oxon, UKGoogle Scholar
  12. Bremner JM et al (1980) Formation of nitrous oxide and dinitrogen by chemical decomposition of hydroxylamine in soils. Soil Biol Biochem 12(3):263–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brentrup F et al (2000) Methods to estimate on-field nitrogen emissions from crop production as an input to LCA studies in the agricultural sector. Int J Lifecycle Assess 5(6):349–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cerri CC et al (2009) Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions: the importance of agriculture and livestock. Sci Agric 66(6):831–843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dahan O, Babad A, Lazarovitch N, Russak EE, Kurtzman D (2014) Nitrate leaching from intensive organic farms to groundwater. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 18:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dalal R, Wang W, Robertson GP, Parton WJ, Myer CM, Raison RJ (2003) Emission sources of nitrous oxide from Australian agricultural and forest lands and mitigation options. National Carbon Accounting System Technical Report No. 35, Australian Government, Australian Greenhouse Office, pp 3–64Google Scholar
  17. Davidson EA, Swank WT (1986) Environmental parameters regulating gaseous nitrogen losses from 2 forested ecosystems via nitrification and denitrification. Appl Environ Microbiol 52(6):1287–1292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Denman KL, Brasseur G, Chidthaisong A, Ciais P, Cox PM, Dickinson RE, Hauglustaine D, Heinze C, Holland E, Jacob D, Lohmann U, Ramachandran S, da Silva Dias PL, Wofsy SC, Zhang X (2007) Couplings between changes in the climate system and biogeochemistry. In: Climate change: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. DiMento J, Doughman FC, Pamela M (2007) Climate change: what it means for us, our children, and our grandchildren. The MIT Press, p 68Google Scholar
  20. Easton ZM, Lassite E (2013) Denitrification management. Virginia Tech: invent the future, Virginia cooperative extension. Publication BSE, p 54Google Scholar
  21. Forster P et al (2007) Changes in atmospheric constituents and in radiative forcing. In: Solomon S et al (eds) Climate change, the physical science basis. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 129–234Google Scholar
  22. Hartmann D, Klein T, Rusticucci M (2013) Observations: atmosphere & surface. IPCC WGI AR5 (Report), p 198Google Scholar
  23. Hayatsu M, Tago K, Saito M (2008) Various players in the nitrogen cycle: diversity and functions of the microorganisms involved in nitrification and denitrification. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 54(1):33–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hofstra N, Bowman AF (2005) Denitrification in agricultural soils: summarizing published data and estimating global annual rates. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 72:267–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hughes L (2000) Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already. TREE 15(2):56–61Google Scholar
  26. Hutson JL (2003) Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model: a process-based model of water and solute movement, transformations, plant uptake, and chemical reactions in the unsaturated zone, version 4. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Research Series No. R03-1, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USAGoogle Scholar
  27. Hutson J, Wagenet R (1992) LEACHM (Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model): a process-based model of water and solute movement, transformations, plant uptake and chemical reactions in the unsaturated zone, Vers. 3.0. Department of Soil, Crop and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NYGoogle Scholar
  28. IPCC (2007) Climate change, mitigation of climate change, contribution of working group III to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, fourth assessment report, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  29. IPCC (2013) The physical science basis—summary for policymakers, observed changes in the climate system. http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report. Accessed June 2014
  30. Iqbal J, Parkin TB, Helmers MJ, Zhou X, Castellano MJ (2014) Denitrification and nitrous oxide emissions in annual croplands, perennial grass buffers, and restored perennial grasslands. Soil Sci Soc Am J 52:1–15Google Scholar
  31. Johnson A, Cabrera M, Hargrove W, McCracken D, Harbers G (1993) Estimating nitrate leaching and soil water dynamics with LEACHM. Institute of Natural Resources, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, p 371Google Scholar
  32. Karl TR, Trenberth KE (2003) Modern global climate change. Science 302:1719–1723CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Le Treut H, Somerville R, Cubasch U, Ding Y, Mauritzen C, Mokssit A, Peterson T, Prather M (2007) Historical overview of climate change science. In: Climate change. Cambridge University Press. Accessed 14 Dec 2008Google Scholar
  34. Lewicka-Szczebak D, Augustin J, Giesemann A, Well R (2017) Quantifying N2O reduction to N2 based on N2O isotopocules—validation with independent methods (helium incubation and 15N gas flux method). EGU: Biogeosciences 14:711–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lu JV, Gabriel A, Reichler T (2007) Expansion of the Hadley cell under global warming. Geophys Res Lett 34(6):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ma Q, Tipping RH (1998) The distribution of density matrices over potential-energy surfaces: application to the calculation of the far-wing line shapes for CO2. J Chem Phys 108:3386–3399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mogge B, Kaiser E, Munch J (1999) Nitrous oxide emissions and denitrification N-losses from agricultural soils in the Bornhöved Lake region: influence of organic fertilizers and land-use. Soil Biol Biochem 31(9):1245–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. NASA (2016) Science Mission Directorate article: water cycle. http://nasascience.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/ocean-earth-system/ocean-water-cycle. Accessed June 2017
  39. NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/activity/graphing-global-temperature-trends/. Accessed 5 May 2019
  40. Oenema O, Kros H, De-Vries W (2003) Approaches and uncertainties in nutrient budgets: implications for nutrient management and environmental policies. Eur J Agron 20:3–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schwenke G, Haigh B, McMullen G, Brock P (n.d) Nitrous oxide—an indicator of N loss? NSW Department of Primary Industries and David Herridge, University of New England, Primary Industries Innovation Centre, GRDC code: UNE00012Google Scholar
  42. Signor D, Eduardo C, Cerri P (2013a) Nitrous oxide emissions in agricultural soils: a review. Pesq Agropec Trop 43(3):322–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Signor D, Cerri CEP, Conant R (2013b) N2O emissions due to nitrogen fertilizer applications in two regions of sugarcane cultivation in Brazil. Environ Res Lett 8:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shishaye HA (2015a) The negative impacts of climate change in sub-Saharan Africa and their mitigation measures. Br J Appl Sci Technol 11(5):1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Shishaye H (2015b) Simulations of nitrate leaching from sugarcane farm in Metahara, Ethiopia, using the LEACHN model. J Water Resource Prot 7:665–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Snyder RL (1992) Equation for evaporation pan to evapotranspiration conversions. J Irrig Drain Eng 118(6):977–980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Snyder CS et al (2009) Review of greenhouse gas emissions from crop production systems and fertilizer management effects. Agric Ecosyst Environ 133(3–4):247–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stokes B, Wike R, Carle J (2015) Global concern about climate change, broad support for limiting emissions: U.S., China less worried; partisan divides in key countries. Pew Research Center. http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/11/05/global-concern-about-climate-change-broad-support-for-limitingemissions/. Accessed 18 June 2016
  49. Syakila A, Kroeze C (2011) The global nitrous oxide budget revisited. Greenh Gas Meas Manag 1(1):17–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Thomson AJ et al (2012) Biological sources and sinks of nitrous oxide and strategies to mitigate emissions. Philos Trans R Soc Biol Sci 367:1157–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Toride N, Chen D (2011) Fate transport modelling of nitrogen and organic matter in soils. Mie University, Tsu, JapanGoogle Scholar
  52. Vitousek PM (1994) Beyond global warming: ecology and global change. Ecol Soc Am 75(7):1861–1876Google Scholar
  53. Welch DW, Ishida Y, Nagasawa K (1998) Thermal limits and ocean migrations of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka): long-term consequences of global warming. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 55:937–948CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zaman M, Nguyen ML, Simek M, Nawaz S, Khan MJ, Babar MN, Zaman S (2012) Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and di-nitrogen (N2) from the agricultural landscapes, sources, sinks, and factors affecting N2O and N2 ratios. Greenhouse gases—emission, measurement and management. Intechopen. ISBN: 978-953-51-0323-3Google Scholar
  55. Zhu X, Burger M, Doane TA, Horwath WR (2013) Ammonia oxidation pathways and nitrifier denitrification are significant sources of N2O and NO under low oxygen availability. PNAS: Agric Sci 110(16):6328–6333CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Cross Geoscience, Southern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia

Personalised recommendations