Building on the 2011 European Nitrogen Assessment, this paper reviews key features of the complex relationships between N use and food production in Europe in order to develop novel options for a more N-efficient, less N-polluting and secure European food system. Option considered include relocating feed and livestock production from Northwestern to Central and Eastern Europe, or convincing consumers with a Western diet to eat less meat and dairy by communicating the associated health benefits and smaller ecological footprints.
This paper provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of costs and benefits of the various flows of N on human health, ecosystems and climate stability in order to identify major options for mitigation. The social cost of impacts of N in the EU27 in 2008 was estimated between €75–485 billion per year. A cost share of around 60% is related to emissions to air. The share of total impacts on human health is about 45% and may reflect the higher willingness to pay for human health than for ecosystems or climate stability.
Nutrients trigger carbon storage (News and Views), in: Nature Climate Change 4, 425-6 (2014) - see http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n6/full/nclimate2255.html
Commenting on an article by Fernandez-Martinez et al., this “News and Views” piece concludes that nutrient availability is the dominant driver of carbon retention in forests, based on an analysis of data from 92 forested sites across the globe.