Nitrous Oxide Emissions and Prairie Agriculture.
Lemke, R.L. and Farrell, R.E. (2008). "Nitrous Oxide Emissions and Prairie Agriculture.", Prairie Soils and Crops, 1:2.
There’s nothing funny about laughing gas when it comes to global warming. Nitrous Oxide (N2O), best known as laughing gas, a colourless, odourless gas sometimes used as an anaesthetic by dentists, is also a powerful greenhouse gas. While carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main human-generated greenhouse gas, N2O is approximately 300 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Farm activity, especially emissions from agricultural soils, is by far the largest source of human-induced N2O emissions. In 2005 Canadian farmers were responsible for 70% of all of Canada ’s N2O emissions3; industrial processes and the combustion of fossil fuels produced the remaining 30%. This article looks at how prairie agriculture contributes N2O to the atmosphere and identifies some possible strategies to help minimize those emissions.