New nitrogen scenarios using the SSPs

Organizers: David Kanter (NYU), Wilfried Winiwarter (IIASA)


Nitrogen pollution is one of the most important environmental issues facing humanity. Nitrogen compounds, primarily used and released from agricultural sources, with additional fluxes from waste, combustion and industry, are responsible for impacts related to air, water and soil quality, biodiversity loss, ozone depletion and climate change. Nitrous oxide’s role as a greenhouse gas as well as the impact of nitrogen compounds such as NOx and ammonia on air quality made them elements of interest during the development of the SSP and RCP frameworks. However, the initial work done to underpin these frameworks doesn’t account for nitrogen pollution comprehensively and has yet to explore future nitrogen trends in a coordinated and systematic way. Consequently, a range of possible nitrogen futures out to 2100 (and consistent with the SSP/RCP framework) is currently being developed by the International Nitrogen Management System (INMS), a new science-policy initiative, which is slated to publish the first global nitrogen assessment in 2021. The session we propose intends to integrate INMS’s work on nitrogen within the broader environmental science community. We seek abstracts describing results of related activities and on nitrogen-related impacts of other scenario activities (e.g. water, climate, food scenarios).