Biofuel crops are being considered as an option for reduction of global warming. However, biofuel crops are not 100% carbon neutral. There are three agriculture related greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, N2O. Nitrous oxide is an important greenhouse gas that is often overlooked by the non scientific community. 60% of nitrous oxide emissions are produced by agriculture ecosystems. Input of fertilizer greatly stimulates nitrous oxide emissions.
At the conclusion of the lesson, students will be able to:
- Describe certain processes in nitrogen cycling (specifically, denitrification, nitrification)
- Understand that an increase in fertilization of biofuel crops will increase the release greenhouse gases
- Know how nitrous oxide can counteract the greenhouse gas reduction effects of using biofuels as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Lesson plan created by GK-12 Fellow Leilei Ruan & teacher Sandy Erwin