From: Yale Environment 360
Published August 8, 2017 03:30 PM

The Nitrogen Problem: Why Global Warming Is Making It Worse

It is a painful lesson of our time that the things we depend on to make our lives more comfortable can also kill us. Our addiction to fossils fuels is the obvious example, as we come to terms with the slow-motion catastrophe of climate change. But we are addicted to nitrogen, too, in the fertilizers that feed us, and it now appears that the combination of climate change and nitrogen pollution is multiplying the possibilities for wrecking the world around us.

new study in Science projects that climate change will increase the amount of nitrogen ending up in U.S. rivers and other waterways by 19 percent on average over the remainder of the century — and much more in hard-hit areas, notably the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River Basin (up 24 percent) and the Northeast (up 28 percent). That’s not counting likely increases in nitrogen inputs from more intensive agriculture, or from increased human population.

Continue reading at Yale Environment 360

Image: An algae bloom in Lake St. Clair in July 2015. The lake is bordered by Detroit, Michigan to the west and Canadian farmland to the east. Credit: NASA / NOAA

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