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国際窒素会議(メルボルン)【International Nitrogen Initiative Conference - Melbourne】

posted Dec 20, 2016, 7:10 PM by Yoshitaka Uchida Hokudai

     I and some of my students attended the International Nitrogen Initiative Conference. It was held at Melbourne, Australia. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for us, a part of amino acids and some vitamins. Looking at the global scale, nitrogen can be present as a gas, as a water soluble inorganic form (nitrate), and as an organic forms. Thus, it is difficult to grasp the cycling of this nutrient. 
     Nitrogen is also potentially harmful nutrient for the environment. For example, nitrous oxide gas is a greenhouse gas and excess nitrate in water might kill animals living in the water and reduces the quality of water for drinking. Thus, it is very important for scientists to think about nitrogen, globally. 
     "Low-carbon society" are keywords in many areas and countries these days and they simply mean that we have to live without emitting excess carbon dioxide. Similarly, in terms of nitrogen, we have to think how much nitrogen we use (or leach to the environment) per a mouthful of nitrogen (i.e. protein / amino acids). It was strongly emphasized during this conference. 
     Additionally, there are some areas where nitrogen depletion is an issue (e.g. some parts of Africa). Soil degradation or the loss of soil fertility are the issues in these areas and we realized that nitrogen related issues are variable. I tried to be a bridge between East Asia and other parts of the world, attending a lot of meetings during the conference. Also, it was good that I could catch up with a lot of my professors and colleagues from New Zealand. I also tried to make sure my students learn a lot during the conference... at least I tried...