As per the journal “Earth System Science Data”, India is the world’s second-largest emitter of nitrous oxide after China. 

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  • Nitrous oxide emissions largely come from nitrogen fertilizer usage and from animal manure.
  • The top five country emitters by volume of anthropogenic N2O emissions in 2020 were China (16.7%), India (10.9%), the United States (5.7%), Brazil (5.3%), and Russia (4.6%).

Source of Emission

  • The major source of these emissions comes from fertiliser, according to a global assessment of N2O emissions published in the journal Earth System Science Data.
  • N2O emissions from human activities have increased by 40% (three million metric tons of N2O per year) in the past four decades. 
  • Agricultural production using nitrogen fertilizers, such as ammonia, and animal manure contributed 74% of the total anthropogenic N2O emissions in the last decade. 
  • N2O emissions from human activities are responsible for 6.4% of the effective radiative forcing of greenhouse gases and have added about 0.1°C to current global warming.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

  • It is also known as laughing gas —a type of short-acting sedative.  It’s a colorless, slightly sweet-smelling gas that one can breathe in through a mask or nosepiece.
  • It is a greenhouse gas that heats up the atmosphere far more than carbon dioxide.
  • Nitrous oxide stays longer than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and is rising rapidly.

Recent Data of Nitrous Oxide concentration

  • The concentration of atmospheric N2O reached 336 parts per billion in 2022 which is 25% more than the preindustrial levels.
  • Whereas, the concentration of carbon dioxide was 417 parts per million in 2022. So, the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a thousand times more than that of nitrous oxide.
  • Anthropogenic N2O emissions must decline by at least 20% relative to 2019 levels by 2050.” For net zero emission of Paris Agreement (stabilizing global temperatures below 2°C from pre-industrial levels)

Some other Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases (also known as GHGs) are gases in the earth’s atmosphere that trap heat.

  • Carbon Dioxide as Carbon
  • HFCs
  • Methane
  • NF3
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • PFCs
  • Sulphur hexafluoride

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