Creeping headache: An exhaustive study on N2O pollution has attributed steep increases in emissions over the last five decades to fertiliser use in agriculture | Photo: Reuters

Rising levels of N2O from nitrogen-based fertilisers hampering climate progress: Study

A new study revealed how the use of nitrogen-based fertilisers is pushing up the global emission levels of a lesser-known greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, hampering efforts to tackle climate change. The study found that the gas, also known as ‘laughing gas’, rose annually by 1.4% between 1980 and 2016, with agriculture (which uses nitrogen-based fertilisers) accounting for more than half of the human-caused N20 emissions. Cumulatively, while emissions rose some 30% in 36 years, atmospheric concentrations of the gas have jumped some 20% since the beginning of the industrial era. The reason why N20 is dangerous is because it can not only remain in the atmosphere for over 125 years, but is also about 300 times more potent than CO2 in terms of trapping heat. The study, which analysed 21 natural and human sources of N2O, found that 43 per cent of the total emissions came from human sources, with a bulk reported from large developing countries Brazil, India and China.

15 killed as unprecedented rains pound Hyderabad

A deep depression that formed over the Bay of Bengal moved inland covering the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over the past few days. The deep depression weakened into a depression as it traversed Telangana and moved further westwards towards Maharashtra and Karnataka. The depression though brought intense rainfall in all districts that fell on its path, with Hyderabad bearing the brunt of the inclement weather. The Telangana government declared a two-day holiday as Hyderabad recorded around 30cm of rain between 13 and 14 October- the highest ever received by the city in 24 hours. Fifteen people have been reported to have died in rain related incidents in the city, and warnings for rainfall in Maharashtra and Karnataka have been issued by the India Meteorological Department.

Meanwhile, the delayed monsoon withdrawal has stalled further in Central India due to the incursive depression from the Bay of Bengal.

This year’s September warmest on record: Copernicus

In more evidence that global warming is real, weather service Copernicus declared this year’s September to be the warmest on record – around 0.05°C hotter than September last year, which had set the previous record. The agency also confirmed above-average warmth in the Siberian Arctic and that Arctic sea ice is at its second-lowest extent since records began. 

Amazon close to transitioning from rainforest into savannah: Study

The climate crisis is likely to turn Brazil’s Amazon rainforest into a savannah, a new study published in Nature Communications stated. According to the research, as much as 40% of the rainforest, which has been battered by wildfires and changing rainfall patterns, could exist as a savannah. While a complete transition will take decades, once the process begins, it is irreversible, the study stated. 

Study highlights how ‘legacy effects’ impact future carbon uptake

A new study estimated that the carbon uptake of land may increase faster than previously thought in the next few years. This is because, according to the study, most models have not taken into account past anthropogenic disturbances such as deforestation and climate change. This means plants, for example, are still adapting to previous increases in CO2, also known as ‘legacy effects’. This means that this lingering additional CO2 is making plants to photosynthesise faster, thereby increasing the rate at which they absorb carbon from the atmosphere.

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