APR 16, 2018 11:39 AM PDT

Nuclear Science for Battling Climate Change


Although energy and industry sectors are often to blame for producing excessive greenhouse gas,  agriculture, on the other hand, emits three major greenhouse gases through different activities: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Carbon dioxide is released through soil cultivation, while methane is associated with cattle and livestock manure. Attracting the least amount of attention so far, nitrous oxide emerges as the microbial degradation product of fertilizer and cattle feces.

These gases differ in their ability to trap heat: for the same mass, methane is more than 20 times as effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Nitrous oxide is about 300 times as effective, making it the worst among the three greenhouse gas.

Nuclear science provides an effective method to keep track of the greenhouse gas emission: stable isotopes such as nitrogen-15 and carbon-13 in the gas molecules are unique isotopic markers that allow climate researchers to trace the movement and origin of the agriculture-associated emission. Mapping the three gases can help scientists develop the sustainable climate-smart agricultural practices.

Source: IAEA via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
You May Also Like
AUG 20, 2018
Videos
AUG 20, 2018
When Will Humankind Make the Switch to Fusion Power?
  As we look toward the future for cleaner and more efficient means of producing power, fusion looks to be one of the most promising candidates. Fusio...
SEP 04, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 04, 2018
Plant-based Mosquito Repellents Getting (Rid of) A Lot of Buzz
Mosquitoes are well-known carriers for many disease-causing viruses and parasites. Over the years, widespread application of synthetic pesticides caused ce...
SEP 10, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 10, 2018
Here's How Long it Takes Your Garbage to Decompose
  Humans produce an unbelievable amount of waste, most of which either go on to be recycled or heads to the landfill to decompose. But have you ever w...
SEP 20, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 20, 2018
Defining the "Colors" of Antimatter
Atoms of regular matters, such as hydrogen, can emit a distinct spectrum of lights when their electrons get excited and move between two different ene...
NOV 01, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 01, 2018
Oil Absorbing Sponge Made from Wood
  It has been eight years since the crude oil spill in the Mexico Gulf, but the shadow of aquatic petroleum contamination has never been far away. To...
DEC 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 06, 2018
Rare Uranium Compounds Capable of High-temperature Superconductivity at Near Normal Pressure
Uranium is often associated with nuclear fuel materials, but very soon they could be used to power a new wave of industrial revolution. Scientists from Rus...
Loading Comments...