Friday, December 23, 2011

Industrialization responsible for nitrogen pollution in lakes

According to a latest research based on studies of sediment from 36 lakes in the USA, Canada, Greenland and Svalbard, Norway, nitrogen pollution in lakes in the northern hemisphere has been growing since the late 19th century because of the rapid industrialization and increased fertilizer use.

The researchers were able to discover increased amount of nitrogen even in very remote lakes, thousands of miles from the nearest urban area.

The increase in nitrogen levels started around 1895, and has started to accelerate in the last 60 years because of the commercialization of artificial fertilizer production in the 1950s.

The burning of fossil fuels and massive use of fertilizers are the two main reasons behind the increased levels of nitrogen in Earth’s atmosphere. From the Earth’s atmosphere nitrogen gets transported with air currents and reaches the ground in rain or snow and can travel thousands of miles reaching even the most distant lakes and ecosystems.

This latest study included 36 lakes all of which showed the same sign – that the increased levels of nitrogen from human activity can be traced back to the end of the 19th century. The scientists concluded this after analyzing how the chemical composition of the sediment has changed over the centuries.

Plants need nitrogen because nitrogen in very important nutrient but too much nitrogen isn't recommended from environmental point of view because it pollutes water bodies and can also lead to smog and acid rains. Nitrogen pollution is becoming fast growing environmental issue in many corners of the world.

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