A new US study reveals that global waterways are releasing three times previously estimated levels of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas that has 300 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide is also the leading cause of ozone layer destruction.
After evaluating 72 rivers across the United States, lead author Dr. Jake Beaulieu of the University of Notre Dame stated that at least 10% of global nitrous oxide is being released from rivers and streams. Analysis by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revealed that runoff from animal agriculture manure as well as chemical fertilizers are primary sources of nitrogen.
The nitrogen then makes its way into river systems, where microbes convert it into nitrous oxide. Dr. Beaulieu stated, “Changes in agricultural and land-use practices that result in less nitrogen being delivered to streams would reduce nitrous oxide emissions from river networks.”
Dr. Beaulieu and associates at University of Notre Dame, many thanks for your insightful research. Let us all make the most planet-cooling choices to support the balance of our Earth.
Speaking during an interview published in the December 16, 2009 edition of The Irish Dog Journal, Supreme Master Ching Hai emphasized the need to protect both our waterways and the climate by halting the highly-polluting animal agriculture industry.