Nitrogen

By far the largest pool of nitrogen is in the atmosphere as N2 (g), but it is not available to most biological reactions (Table 6.2, Fig. 6.5). The triple bond that holds the molecule is strong and energetically expensive to break, thus anthropogenic production 100 x 1012 g N/year

nitrogen fixation by lightning <3 x 1012 g N/year atmospheric pool 38 x 1020 g N

nitrogen fixation by lightning <3 x 1012 g N/year

Fig. 6.5. Global nitrogen pools and flux rates (adapted from Schlesinger, 1997).
Table 6.2. Nitrogen pools in the atmosphere.

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