Mobile nav


Home >> About us >> News

Nitrogen: one of the most urgent pressures on earth system

Recently published WWF Science Brief "Nitrogen: too much of a vital resource", by Erisman e.a.


Excess nitrogen originating from chemical fertilizers, animal manure and burning of fossil fuels, are increasingly affecting soil, water and air quality. In coastal and marine ecosystems, excess nitrogen levels cause eutrophication. An estimated 500 estuaries worldwide have turned into ‘dead zones’.

However, nitrogen also plays an important role in food security. It has been estimated that without chemical nitrogen fertilizer, only 3 billion people would have enough food given current diets and agricultural practices. Prof. Jan Willem Erisman PhD gives an in depth overview of the nitrogen challenge and also explores options to decrease the negative impacts of excess nitrogen on biodiversity and ecosystems, while at the same time providing food security to  a growing world population.

Read the English summary  of the Science Brief

Download the Science Brief: "Nitrogen: too much of a vital resource" written by Jan Willem Erisman e.a., and commissioned by WWF the Netherlands.

Datum: 29-04-2015

Excesses of nitrogen endanger biodiversity and ecosystems

Prof. Jan Willem Erisman PhD