Improving the understanding of the carbon and nitrogen cycle

Improving the understanding of the carbon and nitrogen cycle

In the framework of the line of work developed by the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) and the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (Odepa) of the Ministry of Agriculture, in order to evaluate the emission of greenhouse gases, the expert from the University of Alberta (Canada), Dr. Scott Chang, visited Chile last December to make a series of presentations. Dr. Chang is an agronomist from the University of Zhejiang (China) and has a PhD in forestry (forest soils) from the British University (Columbia). Currently, he is Professor of Forest Soil and Nutrient Dynamics at the University of Alberta (Canada).

Dr. Chang spoke about the carbon cycle, the emissions of greenhouse gases in different types of ecosystems, soil sampling, analysis techniques, as well as the use and development of agroforestry systems to increase carbon fixation in the land. In this framework, the measures that the agricultural sector must implement to adapt to climate change were addressed.

“Nuclear techniques are very important to improve our understanding of the carbon and nitrogen cycle in different ecosystems. For example, we reviewed the use of nitrogen-15 as a tracer to determine the efficiency of nitrogen use in fertilizers and the use of carbon-13 to determine the source of organic carbon and carbon dioxide emissions, “Chang said.

“Once we better understand the factors involved in the storage of carbon in the soil and emissions of greenhouse gases from nuclear applications, we can design management techniques to improve our capacity to mitigate climate change. In that sense, it is important to mention that with the nuclear techniques we obtain unique conclusive information that supports conventional methodologies” he concluded.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.