World Resource Institute

Nitrogen Cascade


This website explores links between nitrogen, agriculture, environment and public health. It contains news stories, studies, a look at experts in the field, and overviews of the issues.

International Nitrogen Initiative
The International Nitrogen Initiative is a global effort to optimize nitrogen's beneficial role in sustainable food production and to minimize nitrogen's negative effects on human health and the environment. The INI website contains a weath of information, publications and tools related to reactive nitrogen in the environment.

Nutrient Overload: Unbalancing the Global Nitrogen Cycle
World Resources Staff, 1989.


The Nitrogen Cascade
Galloway, J.N., J.D. Aber, J.W. Erisman, S.P. Seitzinger, R.W. Howarth, E.B. Cowling, and B.J. Cosby. Bioscience 53: 341-356, 2003.
This paper discusses the consequences of and potential solutions to anthropogenic reactive nitrogen in Earth's environmental systems.

Transformation of the Nitrogen Cycle: Recent Trends, Questions, and Potential Solutions
Galloway, J.N., A.R. Townsend, J.W. Erisman, M. Bekunda, Z. Cai, J.R. Freney, L.A. Martinelli, S.P. Seitzinger, and M.A. Sutton. Science 320(5878): 889-892, 2008.
This paper discusses how humans have altered the nitrogen cycle and suggests strategies for the efficient and equitable use of nitrogen.

Nitrogen Cycles: Past, Present and Future
Galloway, James, F.J. Dentener, D.G. Capone, E.W. Boyer, R.W. Howarth, S.P. Seitzinger, G.P. Asner, C.C. Cleveland, P.A. Green, E.A. Holland, D.M. Karl, A.F. Michaels, J.H. Porter, A.R. Townsend and C.J. Vorosmarty. Biogeochemistry 70: 153–226, 2004.
This paper contrasts the natural and anthropogenic controls on the conversion of unreactive N2 to more reactive forms of nitrogen (Nr). A variety of data sets are used to construct global N budgets for 1860 and the early 1990s and to make projections for the global N budget in 2050.

Energy, Industry and Nitrogen: Strategies for Decreasing Reactive Nitrogen Emissions
Moomaw, W.R. Ambio 31(2), 2002.
This paper provides an economic analysis of the most cost-effective ways to intervene in the nitrogen cycle to reduce nitrogen emissions from industry.

Policy implications of human-accelerated nitrogen cycling
Mosier, A.R., Bleken, M.A., Chaiwanakupt, P., Ellis, E.C., Freney, J.R., Howarth, R.B., Matson, P.A., Minami, K., Naylor, R., Weeks, K.N. and Z.L, Zhu. Biogeochemistry 52: 281–320, 2001.

Reactive Nitrogen in the Environment: Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC). Paris, 2007.
Prepared jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Woods Hole Research Center, with contributions from the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), this non-technical report on reactive nitrogen in the environment summarizes the present scientific understanding of the major issues surrounding reactive nitrogen, and discusses the overarching environmental, human health, and economic issues created by both excesses and deficiencies.