Fertilizers, A Boon To Agriculture, Pose Developing Hazard To U.S. Waterways

New research suggests that climate change will substantially increase this form of pollution, leading to more damaging algae blooms and dead zones in American coastal waters.
“Climate change is just as tightly linked to issues related to water quality, and it’s not enough for the water to just be there, it has to be sustainable.”
PhotoNitrogen-based fertilizers, which came into wide use after World War II, helped prompt the agricultural revolution that has allowed the Earth to feed its seven billion people.
Heavier rains caused by warmer temperatures will cause more agricultural runoff, sluicing more nutrients into rivers, lakes and oceans.
The authors found that future climate change-driven increases in rainfall in the United States could boost nitrogen runoff by as much as 20 percent by the end of the century.

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