New Grass Cuts Greenhouse Gas

By: | November 18th, 2013

Our Earth is showing many signs of worldwide climate change. In the recent IndustryTap report, Do Companies Give a Rip about Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions?, we revealed some startling numbers behind global companies and their greenhouse gas emissions reports. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere hit a new record high in 2012, continuing an upward and accelerating trend. Avoiding dangerous climate change requires large and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

A team of scientists from Japan and Colombia has done a marvelous job to help cut back greenhouse gas emissions caused by chemical fertilizers. Scientists from Japan’s International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences and the Colombian International Center for Tropical Agriculture discovered a species of grass, which releases substances from its roots that can minimize greenhouse gas emissions from soil caused by the use of chemical fertilizers.

Nitrogen-based fertilizers are widely used, which turn into nitric acid, polluting the soil and contaminating groundwater and ocean ecosystems. Some of the nitric acid turns into nitrous oxide, which is a greenhouse gas. After carbon dioxide and methane, nitrous oxide is the most potent greenhouse gas.

The super pasture grass discovered by the scientists prevents the conversion of the fertilizer components into greenhouse gases. This grass curbs activities of microorganisms and cuts the amount of nitrous oxide emitted. This new grass not only suppresses the nitrous oxide emission but also enhances cattle breeding.

The scientists expect this grass will play an important role in our future. They see it expanding agricultural production  while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the agriculture sector.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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