Europe

Losses of Ammonia and Nitrate from Agriculture and Their Effect on Nitrogen Recovery in the European Union and the United States between 1900 and 2050

Historical trends and levels of nitrogen (N) budgets and emissions to air and water in the European Union and the United States are markedly different. Agro-environmental policy approaches also differ, with emphasis on voluntary or incentive-based schemes in the United States versus a more regulatory approach in the European Union. This paper explores the implications of these differences for attaining long-term policy targets for air and water quality.

Losses of Ammonia and Nitrate from Agriculture and Their Effect on Nitrogen Recovery in the European Union and the United States between 1900 and 2050

Historical trends and levels of nitrogen (N) budgets and emissions to air and water in the European Union and the United States are markedly different. Agro-environmental policy approaches also differ, with emphasis on voluntary or incentive-based schemes in the United States versus a more regulatory approach in the European Union. This paper explores the implications of these differences for attaining long-term policy targets for air and water quality.

Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity. The concept is based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System. This paper revises and updates the framework, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Two core boundaries have been identified: climate change and biosphere integrity.

Potential of extensification of European agriculture for a more sustainable food system, focusing on nitrogen

The authors explore the potential of sustainable extensification of agriculture by reducing N inputs and livestock densities. A 2030 scenario for the EU27 reducing production and consumption of animal products by 50% (demitarean diet) decreases N pollution by 10%. In Europe, extensification of agriculture is sustainable when combined with adjusted diets, a change to organic farming, and the externalization of environmental costs to food prices.

Impacts of agricultural changes in response to climate and socioeconomic change on nitrogen deposition in nature reserves

In a case study in the Netherlands two scenarios of changes in climate, technology, policy, and markets for 2050 are investigated: a ‘global economy’ and a ‘regional communities’ scenario; the first leads to a strong increase in agricultural production, the second to a modest increase in agricultural production and a larger expansion of the nature reserves, with the N losses and deposition remaining at the current level. Nature protection needs more ambitious green policies.

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