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Title: Laughing Gas
Authors: Verma, Amitosh
Singh, S N
Issue Date: Jun-2005
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract:   A Laughing gas (chemically known as nitrous oxide) becomong a potential threat to our environment, appears to be a mind-boggling truth, N2O is not only a potential greenhouse gas, but also implicated in the catalytic destruction of stratospheric ozone layer, which saves us from onslaught of UV-B radiation from the sun. Although its atmospheric concertration, as compared to CO2 and CH4, is very low (310 ppbv), its contribution to greenhouse effect is measured to be 6%, based on high thermal absorption capacity and long residence time in the atmosphere. The thermal absorption of N2O was estimated to be 150 times higher than CO2 and 5 times higher than CH4. Being a highly non-reactive gas in the troposphere, it moves uniterrupted to the stratosphere to cause damage to ozone layer.
  Among the various anthropogenic sources, agriculture is the major contributor to N2O emission because of high intensification of farming supplemented with the high input of N-chemical fertilizers. According to IPCC (1992)] the cultivated soils alone contribute 0.03-3.0 Tg N-N2)/yr, which is about 20% of total N2O emission to the atmosphere. N2O is produced in both oxic and partial anoxic conditions by nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, respectively, and transported to the atmosphere mainly through molecular diffusion and partially through aerenchyma of plants. Its emission to the atmosphere is considered as a colossal loss of N-input to the farming.
Page(s): 54-57
ISSN: 0975-2412 (Online); 0771-7706 (Print)
Appears in Collections:BVAAP Vol.13(1) [June 2005]

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