European Nitrogen Assessment





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Published on Apr 11, 2011

In a five year project funded by the European Science Foundation programme "Nitrogen in Europe", 200 scientists/experts in the field produced "The European Nitrogen Assessment", which explains the state of the threats to water, air and soil quality and the impacts on biodiversity and climate change in Europe and highlights the possible solutions. The assessment can be downloaded from: http://www.nine-esf.org/ENA-Book

Other useful websites:

Nitrogen In Europe:

International Nitrogen Initiative:

Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen:

See also: http://www.nitrogennews.com/

[The full text of the video is as follows:]

A message from the European Nitrogen Assessment.

78% of our atmosphere is nitrogen,
But most of it is unreactive and no use to plants.

We need reactive nitrogen.

Reactive nitrogen is essential for growing our food, [apple, crops, nitrogen feeding the world]

But reactive nitrogen sources are not enough for our needs. [resource limitation, nitrogen scarcity, fossil nitrogen]

So for 100 years we have made our own. [factory, manufacture, Haber Bosch process, nitrogen geoengineering, anthropocene]

Without this reactive nitrogen
50% of the human population would not be alive today. [people live and die, food security]

Reactive nitrogen benefits us all...

It is used to make many products including:

Nylon jumpers
Melamine lamps
Polyurethane varnish
Nylon stockings
Floor cleaner
Oven cleaner
Sun tan lotion
Hydrazine rocket fuel

And not forgetting...

T.N.T [TNT, bomb, explosion, trinitrotoluene, dynamite, mining]

For 100 years nitrogen has been feeding our population and fuelling our wars. [milk churns, tank, shell, weapons, missile, war]

Reactive nitrogen is also released unintentionally, by power generation and transport. [light bulb, electricity, car, aeroplane]

Our need for food and consumption of energy comes at a cost. [globe, global problem, earth, world]

Nitrogen pollution affects our most basic resources.

Nitrogen affects our...

Water quality
Air quality [car exhaust, emissions, particles, bad air]
Greenhouse balance [world in our hands, climate change]
Ecosystems and biodiversity [forest, sunshine, people]
Soil quality [boy playing, scratching surface, leaves]


Through a complex set of interactions nitrogen WAGES WAR on our natural environment.

Nitrogen pollution is also costly... 70 to 320 billion € per year across the European Union. [EU, EU27, euro, €70 billion, €320 billion]

Nitrogen is one of the BIGGEST challenges of the 21st century. [grand societal challenges]

The ENA proposes action in 4 major sectors:

Agriculture [dope tractor, crops, fertilizers, animals, livestock]
Transport and industry [747 aeroplane flying]
Wastewater [tap flowing, liquid nitrogen pollution]
Our own choices [woman, man, hopping question mark]

We need to optimize the use of nitrogen in synthetic fertilizers and manure... [green humming, buzzing manure pile, stink, smell]
This reduces nitrogen release to the environment...

Transport and industry
We need to maximize our use of low combustion technologies and renewables... [perfect pink, wind turbines, new wind farms, emission controls]
We have the technology, but more can be achieved...

We need to use new technology to recycle [blue water recycling logo]
N in sewage systems
This saves phosphorus too! [bold purple rubber stamp]
We are throwing N and € down the drain... [euro, gurgling down the sink]

Our own choices
We should reduce our nitrogen footprint [annoying orange foot, societal choice, behavioural change]


Decreasing consumption of

1. Energy [light bulb, insulation, energy saving]
2. Transport [car, automobile, commuting, flying, carbon nitrogen synergy]
3. Animal protein [munching steak, eat less meat and dairy, demitarian]

If many of us choose to consume less, we can make a difference.......

We need to link... [triangle of coupling approaches, arrows]

Science [the evidence base]

Policies [government action, international agreements]

Our own choices [stakeholder mobilization, awareness raising]

We have the solutions...

Agriculture [happy tractor]
Transport and Industry [zooming plane]
Wastewater [wasteful tap]
Our own choices [man and woman contemplating change]

We just need to act..... [it is up to us]

What is stopping us? [barriers to change]

For more information
The European Nitrogen Assessment


[Additional ENA video connections: nitro, nitrous, nitrate, ammonia, nitric acid, fixation, solid, liquid, gaseous nitrogen, chemistry, biology, physics, revision, school, university, course, nitrogen pool, flux, store, climate, cool, warm, global dimming, pollute, damage, assimilation, fixation, hypoxia, metabolism, technologies, renewables, protein, energy, funny, fast, solutions]


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