Nitrogen: one of the most urgent pressures on earth system
Excess nitrogen originating from chemical fertilizers, animal manure and burning of fossil fuels, are increasingly affecting soil, water and air quality. In coastal and marine ecosystems, excess nitrogen levels cause eutrophication. An estimated 500 estuaries worldwide have turned into ‘dead zones’.
However, nitrogen also plays an important role in food security. It has been estimated that without chemical nitrogen fertilizer, only 3 billion people would have enough food given current diets and agricultural practices. Prof. Jan Willem Erisman PhD gives an in depth overview of the nitrogen challenge and also explores options to decrease the negative impacts of excess nitrogen on biodiversity and ecosystems, while at the same time providing food security to a growing world population.
Read the English summary of the Science Brief
Download the Science Brief: "Nitrogen: too much of a vital resource" written by Jan Willem Erisman e.a., and commissioned by WWF the Netherlands.
Excesses of nitrogen endanger biodiversity and ecosystems
Prof. Jan Willem Erisman PhD