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Old 11-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
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Default Oops—Accidental Fertilization Is Ruining America's National Parks

Oops—Accidental Fertilization Is Ruining America's National Parks
October 17, 2013
Douglas Main

Accidental Fertilization in the Form of Nitrogen-Based Pollution Is Ruining America's National Parks
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Call it the Goldilocks principle: Nitrogen fertilizer helps out plants in small quantities, but as is often the case, too much of a good thing can be bad.

New research from Harvard University shows that 38 out of 45 national parks receive “accidental fertilization” in the form of nitrogen-based pollution at or above levels known to cause harm to the flora in their ecosystems, such as lichens, hardwood forests, and tall grass prairie.

The “fertilizer” is blown into the parks from nearby power plants and industrial agriculture operations, and from automobile exhaust, according to...
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Default Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States

Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States: critical load exceedances

ACP - Abstract - Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States: critical load exceedances
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Present and future nitrogen deposition to national parks in the United States: critical load exceedances
R. A. Ellis1,2, D. J. Jacob1,2, M. P. Sulprizio1, L. Zhang2,3, C. D. Holmes4, B. A. Schichtel5, T. Blett6, E. Porter6, L. H. Pardo7, and J. A. Lynch8
1School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
2Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Studies, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
4Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
5Air Resources Division, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO, USA
6Air Resources Division, National Park Service, Denver, CO, USA
7USDA Forest Service, University of Vermont Aiken Center, Burlington, VT, USA
8Office of Air and Radiation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA

Abstract. National parks in the United States are protected areas wherein the natural habitat is to be conserved for future generations. Deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) transported from areas of human activity (fuel combustion, agriculture) may affect these natural habitats if it exceeds an ecosystem-dependent critical load (CL). We quantify and interpret the deposition to Class I US national parks for present-day and future (2050) conditions using the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model with 1/2° × 2/3° horizontal resolution over North America. We estimate CL values in the range 2.5–5 kg N ha−1 yr−1 for the different parks to protect the most sensitive ecosystem receptors. For present-day conditions, we find 24 out of 45 parks to be in CL exceedance and 14 more to be marginally so. Many of these are in remote areas of the West. Most (40–85%) of the deposition originates from NOx emissions (fuel combustion). We project future changes in N deposition using representative concentration pathway (RCP) anthropogenic emission scenarios for 2050. These feature 52–73% declines in US NOx emissions relative to present but 19–50% increases in US ammonia (NH3) emissions. Nitrogen deposition at US national parks then becomes dominated by domestic NH3 emissions. While deposition decreases in the East relative to present, there is little progress in the West and increases in some regions. We find that 17–25 US national parks will have CL exceedances in 2050 based on the RCP8.5 and RCP2.6 scenarios. Even in total absence of anthropogenic NOx emissions, 14–18 parks would still have a CL exceedance. Returning all parks to N deposition below CL by 2050 would require at least a 50% decrease in US anthropogenic NH3 emissions relative to RCP-projected 2050 levels.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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BigAg strikes our wilds again!!!
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Just a few comments that are sorta off topic but sorta not... is anyone else paying attention to the recent change in which our wilds are now routinely being referred to as Federal Lands instead of public or national lands? Now that I’ve said something…. see if you don’t start catching the ever so subtle change over taking place in the media…. they’re not national parks any more…. they’re federal parks. Things that make me go hmmmmm……
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Also too…. check this out, “National parks in the United States are protected areas wherein the natural habitat is to be conserved for future generations.” Forget for a moment that the Feds that are supposed to be partnered with us are partnered with BigAg and that Big Ag’s unsustainable practices are contributing exponentially to the anything-but-accidental over fertilization of our wilds but….. why no mention of all the “sustainable” development the Feds are permitting on OUR public lands that were supposed to be “protected” areas conserved for future generations of US>>>? More things that make me go hmmmmm….
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