CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

Skipjack
Posts: 6040
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

Postby Skipjack » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:21 pm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 183705.htm

Guess they never run out of ideas...
So we all remember the sulfur, acid rain, etc.
Then it was the CFCs.
Then it was CO2.
Now Nitrogen is next.
We are sooooooooooooooooo doooomed!
LOL

alexjrgreen
Posts: 813
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: UK

Postby alexjrgreen » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:28 pm

It's about Nitrate fertilisers rather than Nitrogen in the air. Looks like a funding bid.
Ars artis est celare artem.

djolds1
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:03 am

Re: CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

Postby djolds1 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:30 pm

Skipjack wrote: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 183705.htm

Guess they never run out of ideas...
So we all remember the sulfur, acid rain, etc.
Then it was the CFCs.
Then it was CO2.
Now Nitrogen is next.
We are sooooooooooooooooo doooomed!
LOL
Actually, the massive increases in the biosphere's supply of fixed nitrogen over the last 100 years due to the Haber-Bosch Process is a far more real human effect on the environment than a few ppm of CO2. OTOH, anyone who wants to limit that is explicitly trying to be a chooser of the slain. Without synthetically fixed nitrogen the Earth's agriculture has a human carrying capacity of about 1.5 billion.
Vae Victis

Skipjack
Posts: 6040
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Postby Skipjack » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:31 pm

Well, they are talking about the nitrogen cycle and its effects on the climate. Whatever that may mean in detail. Most of the atmosphere is Nitrogen...
In other words we are supposed to shit less...
Sigh!

djolds1
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:03 am

Postby djolds1 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:51 pm

Skipjack wrote:Well, they are talking about the nitrogen cycle and its effects on the climate. Whatever that may mean in detail. Most of the atmosphere is Nitrogen...
In other words we are supposed to shit less...
Sigh!
Fixed nitrogen that can be used by plants /= atmospheric nitrogen. Before Haber-Bosch, the amount in the biosphere feedback cycles was relatively small, only being created by specialized symbiotic bacteria in the soil and (no joke) lightning strikes. H-B has raised global levels by hundreds of percent, enabling things like algae blooms, etc. See here and here.

They do not want us to shit less, they want us to eat less. A LOT less. Eliminating prevalent use of H-B is a death sentence for 5.5 BILLION human beings; 78.6% of the Earth's human population.
Vae Victis

MirariNefas
Posts: 354
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:57 am

Re: CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

Postby MirariNefas » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:15 pm

djolds1 wrote:OTOH, anyone who wants to limit that is explicitly trying to be a chooser of the slain. Without synthetically fixed nitrogen the Earth's agriculture has a human carrying capacity of about 1.5 billion.


Well... they may just be telling us to use our nitrates more efficiently. Theoretically you could grow the same number of plants if you put greenhouses around them and recovered their fertilizer, rather than letting it all wash out to the Gulf of Mexico. Just saying...

Aero
Posts: 1200
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:36 am
Location: 92111

Postby Aero » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:26 pm

Its not so simple as that. The part that washes to the Gulf of Mexico is the residual, left after the crop plants have eaten their fill. Without that residual margin crop production suffers, and the first thing to go away is profit.

When I was a kid, we bought some extra farm land, took it over after it was planted to corn. The seller applied commercial nitrogen fertilizer and had fertilized it well. The new land produced about 100 bushels per acre. The next year we planted it back to corn using standard cow manure as fertilizer. The same land produced 35 bushels per acre.

This shows how dependent we are on nitrogen fertilizer. Without it most of us would starve to death in the first year. Or maybe it's the second year, but to soon in any case.

Skipjack - You don't need to hold your bowels, you are confusing nitrogen with methane.
Aero

clonan
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:16 pm

Postby clonan » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:47 pm

Aero wrote:Its not so simple as that. The part that washes to the Gulf of Mexico is the residual, left after the crop plants have eaten their fill. Without that residual margin crop production suffers, and the first thing to go away is profit.



MirariNefas wasn't saying don't over fertilize. I think he was more saying use greenhouses for everything and recapture the excess fertilizer

Tom Ligon
Posts: 1871
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:23 am
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:52 pm

Pee less, actually.

Here in Virginia the excess fertilizer is more due to careless application of lawn fertilizers plus careless disposal of chicken wastes, with a bit of runoff from the cattle industry. The crop farmers use their fertilizer fairly responsibly (and why not ... they save money by using the right amount).

I see these problems as probably fixable. Maybe, if we can get Polywell going, we can use it to release nitrogen from chicken-shite back to the atmosphere. Convincing people they don't need emerald green lawns that grow 4 inches a week may be harder.

Tom Ligon
Posts: 1871
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:23 am
Location: Northern Virginia
Contact:

Postby Tom Ligon » Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:45 pm

I talked to an agricultural expert recently. The mule and plow have gotten very high-tech recently. They use GPS and other tools so that they know not just how much fertilizer they put on what field, but on what section of field, and the resulting yield. They adjust the following year.

The latest push (from the ads running in Iowa, where I just visited) is for seed mixes with more genetic variability, and evidently tailored to very specific locales. A few years ago the worry was "monoculture" of highly-productive but chemical-dependent strains that might be vulnerable to all being wiped out at once. Evidently they've changed quite a bit.

I own some woodlands, and am aware of a possible link between nitrates in rain and CO2 release. The rate of decay of deadwood is often limited by fixed nitrogen availability. Stump-rot promoting compounds are typically nitrate fertilizers ... they accelerate fungal breakdown of wood. So excess nitrates in acid rain, due to air pollution, might reduce the stored carbon in deadfall. Maintaining overall ecosystem health maintains the ability of the planet to take up carbon. I suspect we could release more CO2 and methane by killing large parts of the ecosystem than with all the oil we burn, by a large margin.

Skipjack
Posts: 6040
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Postby Skipjack » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:29 pm

Actually most of the nitrates in our waters here in Austria (our waters have high quality, mostly), are from manure which is used as a fertilizer.
Thats why I said "shit less". It was kinda meant tongue in cheek.
Anyway, I think that it is actually better to use a more controled "chemical" fertilizer than manure and other stuff that farmers here spray on their fields mostly (you know "organic").
The chemical fertilizers are much easier to dose correctly. You can know exactly how much to spray for how much land. With manure... well, there I guess it depends on what the cattle (mostly here) ate, I guess and even then there is not really a solid rule, as far as I know. So more is more.
The thing is, we do have that manure anyway (from keeping farm animals), might just as well use it.

Helius
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Syracuse, New York

Postby Helius » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:53 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:... Convincing people they don't need emerald green lawns that grow 4 inches a week may be harder.
http://www.arborday.org/ :wink:

djolds1
Posts: 1296
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:03 am

Re: CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

Postby djolds1 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:43 pm

MirariNefas wrote:
djolds1 wrote:OTOH, anyone who wants to limit that is explicitly trying to be a chooser of the slain. Without synthetically fixed nitrogen the Earth's agriculture has a human carrying capacity of about 1.5 billion.
Well... they may just be telling us to use our nitrates more efficiently. Theoretically you could grow the same number of plants if you put greenhouses around them and recovered their fertilizer, rather than letting it all wash out to the Gulf of Mexico. Just saying...
These are the "ban baby, ban!" people. :shock:
Vae Victis

MirariNefas
Posts: 354
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 3:57 am

Postby MirariNefas » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:52 pm

The organic fertilizer nuts, eh? I hate them too. Most people in the biology field aren't into the organic movement. When they made irradiation and GM into the enemy, they alienated people who actually understand the issues.

By the way, Norman Borlaugh was the greatest hero the world has ever known. He was an anti-Hitler. In fact, he was more like ten anti-Hitlers.

Josh Cryer
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:19 am

Postby Josh Cryer » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:49 am

Skipjack, CO2 is out? News to me.

I'd be more worried about the phosphorous cycle. Yeah, the N2 cycle is important, but we can keep making fertilizer for hundreds of years (assuming we use natural gas like we are so used to).
Science is what we have learned about how not to fool ourselves about the way the world is.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests