Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nitrogen cycle

"The nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen is converted between its various chemical forms. This transformation can be carried out through both biological and physical processes. Important processes in the nitrogen cycle include

  • fixation
  • mineralization
  • nitrification
  • denitrification.

The majority of Earth's atmosphere (approximately 78%) is nitrogen, making it the largest pool of nitrogen. However, atmospheric nitrogen has limited availability for biological use, leading to a scarcity of usable nitrogen in many types of ecosystems.

The nitrogen cycle is of particular interest to ecologists because nitrogen availability can affect the rate of key ecosystem processes, including primary production and decomposition.

Pollution Human activities such as fossil fuel combustion, use of artificial nitrogen fertilizers, and release of nitrogen in wastewater have dramatically altered the global nitrogen cycle.

Geology A 2011 study found that nitrogen from rocks may also be a significant source of nitrogen, that had not previously been included."

Those supernovas up there churn out really useful stuff for us humans and all living things upon Earth, don't you agree?

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