The study, published in Soil Science Society of America Journal, provides some of the first measures of GHG emissions from agricultural soils in Vermont and highlights important trade-offs with current agriculture practices, such as injecting manure into soils. Understanding the lasting consequences of management decisions is becoming more critical, as agriculture is expected to expand and intensify in northern regions as the climate warms, researchers say. Since most of the nutrients can’t be absorbed right away, the excess is taken up by the microbes and converted into nitrous oxide. That’s more challenging than it sounds, because modern agriculture relies heavily on over-production, and the simplest way to guarantee high yields is to use more nutrients than necessary. There are some challenges with converting to water-efficient systems, Horwath noted. The manure application rates were 0, 56, and 112 Mg ha −1 corresponding to 0, 170, and 339 kg ha −1 of total N, respectively. Zebra Finches Unmask the Bird Behind the Song, Most Effective Strategies to Cut COVID-19 Spread, Memory 'Fingerprints' Reveal Brain Organization, Geology at Mars' Equator: Ancient Megaflood, Healthy Sleep Habits Cut Risk of Heart Failure, NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Headed to ISS, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, For a Lower Climate Footprint, Vegetarian Diet Beats Local, Thawing Permafrost Microbiomes Fuel Climate Change, Real Greenhouse Gas Footprints of Reservoirs Revealed, Better Technology Could Take Agriculture Halfway Towards Climate Targets, COVID-19 False Negative Test Results If Used Too Early, Supersized Wind Turbines Generate Clean Energy--and Surprising Physics, 100-Year-Old Mystery Solved: Adult Eel Observed for the First Time in the Sargasso Sea, Ancient Blanket Made With 11,500 Turkey Feathers, T. Rex Had Huge Growth Spurts, but Other Dinos Grew Slow and Steady, Largest Aggregation of Fishes in Abyssal Deep Sea, Very Hungry and Angry, Caterpillars Head-Butt to Get What They Want, The Secret Social Lives of Giant Poisonous Rats, Truffle Munching Wallabies Shed New Light on Forest Conservation, Geoscientists Discover Ancestral Puebloans Survived from Ice Melt in New Mexico Lava Tubes, Large Predatory Fish Thrive on WWII Shipwrecks Off North Carolina Coast. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2019. An estimated one-third to one-half of the nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere today is a result of human activities. "These results, in conjunction with our previous research that found injection to also increase emissions during the growing season, suggest that there may be important tradeoffs to consider when deciding on a method of manure application. This means figuring out the right amount to use and the right time to apply it. Nitrous oxide arises from animal wastes occurs during both storage and treatment, again by the processes of nitrification and denitrification. "During typical winters, when soils are very cold, microbes basically hibernate, but they are just waiting for the right conditions to be active again," said Adair. While it's known that farmers' decisions to add nutrients to their fields affects greenhouse gas emissions during the growing season, Adair and colleagues find that these choices have long-lasting effects: they can increase emissions of powerful greenhouse gases, especially nitrous oxide (N2O), during wintertime thaws. October 8, 2020 update: A new report in the journal Nature found that human emissions of nitrous oxide have increased by 30 percent since 1980, and that more than two-thirds of those emissions come from agricultural operations.

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