This paper provides the background to this special issue, outlining the extent to which the global atmospheric nitrogen cycle has been modified by human activity and outlining the range of effects. The global total emissions of reduced and oxidized nitrogen, amount to 124 Tg N, and exceed those from natural sources (34 Tg N) by almost a factor of four showing the extent to which anthropogenic activity has taken over the global N cycle. Of the 124 Tg N, 70 Tg N is emitted in the oxidized form, largely as NO and 70% of which results directly from anthropogenic activity. The remaining 54 Tg N is emitted as NH3, (66% anthropogenic). The enhanced nitrogen emissions are associated with a range of local, regional and global issues including, acidification, eutrophication, climate change, human health and tropospheric O3. The paper also places the Global Nitrogen Enrichment (GaNE) research programme in the UK in a wider perspective.
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Fowler, D., Muller, J.B.A. & Sheppard, L.J. The GaNE Programme in a Global Perspective. Water Air Soil Pollut: Focus 4, 3–8 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11267-004-3008-2
- climate change
- human health
- nitrogen cycle
- tropospheric ozone