This article not only provides a book review on “The story of N” published by the environmental historian Hugh Gorman. Moreover, it evaluates strategies to tackle problems caused by reactive nitrogen compounds in the environment as described in the book and compares these with current European activities. Both successful abatement examples and the difficulties to achieve progress in other areas are demonstrated.
In this article, W. Winiwarter and coworkers provide an overview of different activities in Europe on management, abatement and science related to environmental effects of reactive nitrogen. While focusing on trans-national activities that exploit the opportunities of European integration, also national approaches that may be influential for all of Europe are being discussed.
This article appears in the September 2015 issue of EM Magazine, a publication of the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA; www.awma.org). To obtain copies and reprints, please contact A&WMA directly at 1-412-232-3444.
Science of the Total Environment 536: 432–442
The study evaluates the environmental performance of selected dairy farms in the Netherlands. Closing internal nutrient cycles (INC) significantly reduces dairy farm energy use, INC farming reduces the global warming, acidification, and eutrophication potential; nitrogen losses to air and water decrease on average by 5 to 10%.
Landscape Ecology 30:871–885
In a case study in the Netherlands two scenarios of changes in climate, technology, policy, and markets for 2050 are investigated: a ‘global economy’ and a ‘regional communities’ scenario; the first leads to a strong increase in agricultural production, the second to a modest increase in agricultural production and a larger expansion of the nature reserves, with the N losses and deposition remaining at the current level. Nature protection needs more ambitious green policies.
Environ. Res. Lett. 10 (2015) 025002
The authors explore the potential of sustainable extensification of agriculture by reducing N inputs and livestock densities. A 2030 scenario for the EU27 reducing production and consumption of animal products by 50% (demitarean diet) decreases N pollution by 10%. In Europe, extensification of agriculture is sustainable when combined with adjusted diets, a change to organic farming, and the externalization of environmental costs to food prices.
Short bio: Austrian citizen. PhD with Vienna University of Technology in 1988. 2003 habilitation (full permit of university teaching) in environmental chemistry. Since 2003 with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria, now as a Senior Research Scholar. From 2012 to 2014, this position was held concurrently with that of a Professor of Systems Sciences at the University of Graz. Research interests: atmospheric processes and global/regional elemental cycles, specifically nitrogen cycles, and their interactions with human and social systems.