CO2 is out, now its the Nitrogen

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Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:52 am

Skipjack, CO2 is out? News to me.


I was being sarkastic

Carl White
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Postby Carl White » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:27 am

Isn't it true though that a lot of the produce of plant agriculture goes to feed animals (i.e. in factory farms)?

If we ate less meat, more arable land could be used to feed us instead of animals.

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:49 am

This is a bunch of crap, the article clearly forgets to mention that all the nitrogen extracted to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers is in fact extracted from the AIR.
There is no net addition of Nitrogen to the atmosphere coming from nitrogen based fertilizers manufacturing, on the contrary, there is a slightly reduction due to the fact that not all Nitrogen present in the fertilizers gets back in the atmosphere as "N", but is held in the ground in different compounds.

These type of articles should be banned from any respectable scientific news website.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:44 pm

If we ate less meat, more arable land could be used to feed us instead of animals.


Meat has a higher nutritional value than plants. So it kinda evens itself out.
Also there are some aminoacids that you will have a hard time getting just from plants.
A well balanced diet is the key.

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:16 pm

Giorgio wrote:This is a bunch of crap, the article clearly forgets to mention that all the nitrogen extracted to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers is in fact extracted from the AIR.
There is no net addition of Nitrogen to the atmosphere coming from nitrogen based fertilizers manufacturing, on the contrary, there is a slightly reduction due to the fact that not all Nitrogen present in the fertilizers gets back in the atmosphere as "N", but is held in the ground in different compounds.

These type of articles should be banned from any respectable scientific news website.
I think you miss the... political elegance... of this pivot. The nitrogen cycle has absofrakalutely NOTHING to do with atmospheric composition. It is a way to preserve the "Save the Earth! via massive centralized controls" agenda while dropping all the baggage of AGW.

The H-B Process' increase in planetary fixed nitrogen (several hundred percent over 100 years) is a far larger effect than arguing about a few hundredths of a percent of atmospheric composition. The fixed nitrogen supply effects ecology (plants and animals) directly and immediately, not indirectly over century time scales via assumed climatic effects.
Vae Victis

Josh Cryer
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Postby Josh Cryer » Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:48 am

Giorgio wrote:This is a bunch of crap, the article clearly forgets to mention that all the nitrogen extracted to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers is in fact extracted from the AIR.


Reactive nitrogen, nitrates, are not the same as atmospheric nitrogen.


djolds1, AGW doesn't affect the ecological system as much as it would affect a billion or so port-living peoples. Trees like CO2, retirees won't like the ocean in their house (stupid example since they'd be dead, w/e).
Science is what we have learned about how not to fool ourselves about the way the world is.

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:01 am

Josh Cryer wrote:
Giorgio wrote:This is a bunch of crap, the article clearly forgets to mention that all the nitrogen extracted to manufacture nitrogen fertilizers is in fact extracted from the AIR.


Reactive nitrogen, nitrates, are not the same as atmospheric nitrogen.


djolds1, AGW doesn't affect the ecological system as much as it would affect a billion or so port-living peoples. Trees like CO2, retirees won't like the ocean in their house (stupid example since they'd be dead, w/e).


Reactive nitrogen used in fertilizer production and the majority of nitrates is manufactured by fractional distillation of plain air which accounts for more than 99% of world nitrogen production.
Nitrogen is taken from air, injected in ground and rejected as Nitrogen at the end of the cycle, no Nitrogen addition in the air in this cycle.

Unless you are talking about NO and NO2 emissions, but than we should talk about internal combustion engines as a main producer for NO and NO2 emission, and not fertilizer manufacturing.

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:16 am

Josh Cryer wrote:djolds1, AGW doesn't affect the ecological system as much as it would affect a billion or so port-living peoples. Trees like CO2, retirees won't like the ocean in their house (stupid example since they'd be dead, w/e).
Yes. Al Gore's recently purchased waterfront property in San Francisco really drives home how endangered the coastal living communities are.

Giorgio wrote:Reactive nitrogen used in fertilizer production and the majority of nitrates is manufactured by fractional distillation of plain air which accounts for more than 99% of world nitrogen production.
Nitrogen is taken from air, injected in ground and rejected as Nitrogen at the end of the cycle, no Nitrogen addition in the air in this cycle.

Unless you are talking about NO and NO2 emissions, but than we should talk about internal combustion engines as a main producer for NO and NO2 emission, and not fertilizer manufacturing.
Plain N2 is not usable by the biosphere until it is "fixed" into ammonia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_fixation

Again, atmospheric gasses (including gaseous nitrogen) are a non-issue on this topic. Flood local or regional ecologies with large quantities of fertilizer (well above what nature was able to historically provide) and you will see effects above and beyond a tripling of crop yields. Some of those effects will be negative, and those negative effects you can latch onto and scream about.

Its really a very elegant political pivot. The only possible "problem" at issue is the H-B Process, which is indisputably a human artifact.
Vae Victis

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:40 am

djolds1 wrote:
Giorgio wrote:Reactive nitrogen used in fertilizer production and the majority of nitrates is manufactured by fractional distillation of plain air which accounts for more than 99% of world nitrogen production.
Nitrogen is taken from air, injected in ground and rejected as Nitrogen at the end of the cycle, no Nitrogen addition in the air in this cycle.

Unless you are talking about NO and NO2 emissions, but than we should talk about internal combustion engines as a main producer for NO and NO2 emission, and not fertilizer manufacturing.
Plain N2 is not usable by the biosphere until it is "fixed" into ammonia.


That's exactly my point, ammonia is the precursor to manufacture fertilizers.
When I said "injected into earth" I was saying it in a figurative way (spread over the land as fertilizer). Sorry if that was not clear :)

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:50 pm

Giorgio wrote:
djolds1 wrote:
Giorgio wrote:Reactive nitrogen used in fertilizer production and the majority of nitrates is manufactured by fractional distillation of plain air which accounts for more than 99% of world nitrogen production.
Nitrogen is taken from air, injected in ground and rejected as Nitrogen at the end of the cycle, no Nitrogen addition in the air in this cycle.

Unless you are talking about NO and NO2 emissions, but than we should talk about internal combustion engines as a main producer for NO and NO2 emission, and not fertilizer manufacturing.
Plain N2 is not usable by the biosphere until it is "fixed" into ammonia.


That's exactly my point, ammonia is the precursor to manufacture fertilizers.
When I said "injected into earth" I was saying it in a figurative way (spread over the land as fertilizer). Sorry if that was not clear :)


But ammonia is injected into the earth. When it is not being used to make methamphetamine.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

cybrbeast
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Postby cybrbeast » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:49 am

Concerning nitrogen and AGW. This is mostly about nitrous oxide (N2O) which is released mostly by soil bacteria in anaerobic conditions turning NO3 to N2 via intermediates like N2O. N2O is also produced when NH4 is nitrified to NO3 under aerobic conditions. Some N2O escapes and has a high global warming potential. Somewhere like 300 times more effective than CO2 over its lifetime.

With extra NO3 or NH4 fertilizer more N2O is released. N2O is on track to become more important than methane in radiative forcing.
With proper application and management of synthetic or animal fertilizer a lot of these potential problems will get less.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:35 pm

cybrbeast wrote:Concerning nitrogen and AGW. This is mostly about nitrous oxide (N2O) which is released mostly by soil bacteria in anaerobic conditions turning NO3 to N2 via intermediates like N2O. N2O is also produced when NH4 is nitrified to NO3 under aerobic conditions. Some N2O escapes and has a high global warming potential. Somewhere like 300 times more effective than CO2 over its lifetime.

With extra NO3 or NH4 fertilizer more N2O is released. N2O is on track to become more important than methane in radiative forcing.
With proper application and management of synthetic or animal fertilizer a lot of these potential problems will get less.


Well. Then. CO2 is out and NO2 is in. It is amazing that after 30 years of work the scientist got it wrong. Not to worry. No need to change the goal (UN control of everything), just change the reason.

I guess that if energy control is out of the question then food control is the next best thing.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:43 pm

MSimon wrote:Well. Then. CO2 is out and NO2 is in. It is amazing that after 30 years of work the scientist got it wrong. Not to worry. No need to change the goal (UN control of everything), just change the reason.

I guess that if energy control is out of the question then food control is the next best thing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Sorel

...Sorel’s work is best characterized by his by his original interpretation of Marxism, which was deeply anti-determinist, politically anti-elitist, anti-Jacobin, and built on the direct action of unions, the mobilizing role of myth—especially that of the general strike—and on the disruptive and regenerative role of violence.
Vae Victis

cybrbeast
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Postby cybrbeast » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:52 pm

MSimon wrote:
cybrbeast wrote:Concerning nitrogen and AGW. This is mostly about nitrous oxide (N2O) which is released mostly by soil bacteria in anaerobic conditions turning NO3 to N2 via intermediates like N2O. N2O is also produced when NH4 is nitrified to NO3 under aerobic conditions. Some N2O escapes and has a high global warming potential. Somewhere like 300 times more effective than CO2 over its lifetime.

With extra NO3 or NH4 fertilizer more N2O is released. N2O is on track to become more important than methane in radiative forcing.
With proper application and management of synthetic or animal fertilizer a lot of these potential problems will get less.


Well. Then. CO2 is out and NO2 is in. It is amazing that after 30 years of work the scientist got it wrong. Not to worry. No need to change the goal (UN control of everything), just change the reason.

I guess that if energy control is out of the question then food control is the next best thing.

I don't see how CO2 is 'out'. Even though N2O has a much higher global warming potential than CO2 the concentrations are much less, ppb instead of ppm. So if you take into account the atmospheric concentrations, CO2 still has a much higher radiative forcing than N2O

IntLibber
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Postby IntLibber » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:18 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.

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.


The main part of the problem is all the pig and chicken shit that is not properly utilized in the industrial system. In past eras this was useful for the gunpowder and military industrys, ammonium nitrate and potassium nitrate were the basis of black powder and other explosives. With the end of carpet bombing and naval battles, and massive high intensity warfare, there is much less demand from these industries.

The pig and chicken manure problem is the main issue, it gets left in settling ponds that leaches through the soil or overflows retaining walls, and into the rivers.

Now that they've cultured artificial meat, in the coming decades I think we will see industrial agriculture get away from large industrial farms of millions of live animals and go to brewing up meat in vats for the masses.


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