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The Nitrogen cycle and the Anthropocene

There are several types of temporal record (ice cores, sediments, tree rings) which show a reduction in 15N/14N ratios during the 'Anthropocene', a period in which there has been a substantial increase in the amount of reactive nitrogen in the earth’s nitrogen cycle. These changes are thought to be mainly due to the industrial synthesis and application of fertilizers, other changes in farming, and the combustion of fossil fuels. However, there does not seem to be any general agreement on the mechanism/s which cause this change in 15N/14N ratios, or indeed whether the changes in different records are related.

The workshop will therefore aim to promote discussion around: 15N depletion in organic matter in recent lake sediments; the lag between 15N in recent ice cores and lake sediments; recent 15N changes in modern plants/trees and soils; changing sources of N in glaciers and ice cores; and on how changes in source inputs to the atmosphere, and/or changes in its chemistry processes during the past few hundred years might have resulted

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in a decrease in 15N/14N of deposited N? We have invited three guest speakers: Dr Tim Heaton (BGS), Professor Eric Wolff (Cambridge), and Dr Jan Kaiser(UEA), and welcome other suggestions.

Informal posters will also be encouraged as there will be time to discuss particular case studies.

The meeting will be a one day event, to be held at the British Geological Survey in Keyworth, provisionally booked for Wednesday 29th October 2014. Contact Prof Melanie Leng for more information or register an interest in attending.