‘Cut emission of nitrogen oxides to raise crop yields’

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Reducing nitrogen oxides emitted by vehicles and industries could significantly improve crop yields in major agricultural countries like China and India, according to a new analysis based on satellite imagery.

Nitrogen oxides, or NOx, are known to directly attack plant cells. They also help in the formation of the toxic gas ozone that reduces crop yields and in the creation of aerosols in the atmosphere that block sunlight which is vital for photosynthesis.

The analysis, published June in Science Advances, says that reducing NOx emissions by half could improve the yields of winter crops in China by about 25 per cent and summer crops by 15 per cent.  In India, the increase in crop productivity could be eight and six per cent for summer and winter crops, respectively. Read more…