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New model for predicting nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils


In a recently published paper, funded by CPO’s Atmospheric Chemistry Carbon Cycle and Climate program, a team of scientists developed an innovative statistical model for predicting nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils across the globe. Nitrous oxide (N₂O) is a potent greenhouse gas with an atmospheric lifetime of about 114 years, and global N₂O emissions are projected to increase in the coming years. Agricultural activities are the main source of nitrous oxide emissions from human activities, but there is limited attention to agriculture as a major contributor to increasing emissions likely from a lack of understanding of mechanisms controlling nitrous oxide emissions. To address this problem, the authors developed a statistical model using emissions data and other related variables from published papers since 2000. They found that their model underestimates and overestimates nitrous oxide emissions compared to some other data sets, and may be missing some key nitrogen inputs that should be taken into account in future work. However, the authors note that their model provides an innovative and relatively simple way to estimate global nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils, as well as an opportunity to predict future emissions in a changing world.

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