Environmental impacts of nitrogen emissions in China and the role of policies in emission reduction

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Liu, X. J., Xu, W., Du, E. Z., Tang, A. H., Zhang, Y. Y., Wen, Z., Hao, T. X., Pan, Y. P., Zhang, L., Gu. B. J., Zhao, Y., Shen, J. L., Zhou, F., Gao, Z. L., Feng, Z. Z., Chang, Y. H., Goulding, K. W. T., Collett, J. L., Vitousek, P. M. and Zhang, F. S. 2020. Environmental impacts of nitrogen emissions in China and the role of policies in emission reduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences. 378 (Article), p. 20190324. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0324

AuthorsLiu, X. J., Xu, W., Du, E. Z., Tang, A. H., Zhang, Y. Y., Wen, Z., Hao, T. X., Pan, Y. P., Zhang, L., Gu. B. J., Zhao, Y., Shen, J. L., Zhou, F., Gao, Z. L., Feng, Z. Z., Chang, Y. H., Goulding, K. W. T., Collett, J. L., Vitousek, P. M. and Zhang, F. S.
Abstract

Atmospheric reactive nitrogen (Nr) has been a cause of serious environmental pollution in China. Historically, China used too little Nr in its agriculture to feed its population. However, with the rapid increase in N fertilizer use for food production and fossil fuel consumption for energy supply over the last four decades, increasing gaseous Nr species (e.g. NH3 and NOx) have been emitted to the atmosphere and then deposited as wet and dry deposition, with adverse impacts on air, water and soil quality as well as plant biodiversity and human health. This paper reviews the issues associated with this in a holistic way. The emissions, deposition, impacts, actions and regulations for the mitigation of atmosphericNr are discussed systematically. Both NH3 and NOx make major contributions to environmental pollution but especially to the formation of secondary fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which impacts human health and light scattering (haze). In addition, atmospheric deposition of NH3 and
NOx causes adverse impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems due to acidification and eutrophication. Regulations and practices introduced by China that meet the urgent need to reduce Nr emissions are explained and resulting effects on emissions are discussed. Recommendations for improving future N management for achieving ‘win-win’ outcomes for Chinese agricultural production and food supply, and human and environmental health, are described.
This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Air quality, past present and future’.

KeywordsAmmonia ; Nitrogen oxides; Particulate pollution; Eutrophication; Integrated nitrogen management; China
Year of Publication2020
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Journal citation378 (Article), p. 20190324
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0324
PubMed IDXJL, 0000-0002-8367-5833
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0324
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderNational Natural Science Foundation of China
Funder project or codeUK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
Publisher's version
Copyright license
All rights reserved
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Aug 2020
PublisherRoyal Society Publishing
ISSN1364-503X

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