Global Population and the Nitrogen Cycle
- Population quadrupled in 20th century
- Nitrogen is important to the DNA of humans and animals
- Legumes are very important to the Nitrogen so it can be fixed for easier use by plants and animals
- Along with potassium and phosphorus, nitrogen is an important limiting factor for plans
- Too much nitrogen introduced into an area can cause blue baby disease and certain cancers
- When nitrogen leaks into the water of an area, it can cause eutrophication
- Nitrous oxide is a major component to O-Zone loss
Nitrogen is extremely important to the healthy growth of plants. This in turn makes it vastly important for the human food supply as a great deal of it is grown. Farmers used to have to plant certain types of plants, such as legumes, to insure the proper amount of fixed nitrogen in the soil. Due to the importance of nitrogen, it has become common place for nitrogen to be manufactured for fertilization. This increase in nitrogen has begun to cause eutrophication and is stressful on the O-Zone. Nitrogen is vastly important to our food supply but at an alarming cost.
I was not aware the role that nitrogen played on our plant life was so important. I also never knew the dangers that over-fertilization were to that great an extent. Although it is very important for our food source as it is required for the production of feed for our meat based diets. Hopefully there will one day be new technology that can lower the impact of nitrogen and allow us to maintain our food sources.