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Dr. Gary M. King
Professor, University of Maine, Walpole, Maine
"Reducing the Adverse Impacts of Carbon Monoxide-Producing Agricultural Crops on the Atmosphere"
Categories: Agriculture and Conservation of General Resources-Air: 2000
Technological advances in agriculture, together with the expansion of agricultural land use, have been directly responsible for changes in atmospheric composition and the increasing severity of global warming resulting from the use of fossil fuel. Dr. King discovered that widely cultivated nitrogen-fixing agricultural crops such as legumes (peanuts, soybeans, beans, peas, clover and alfalfa) produce quantities of carbon monoxide sufficient to affect the composition of the atmosphere. With legume cultivation on the rise, especially in the tropics, Asia, Africa, and other developing nations, the risk of regionally elevated levels of ozone, and its related health problems, are of significant concern. Dr. King hopes to determine strategies to reduce the impact of these crops on the atmosphere while sustaining their expanded use as a food and economic resource in the tropics through a combination of field and laboratory investigations. It is hoped that results from this project will reduce the impact of major agricultural crops on the atmosphere, globally improve atmospheric stability, and decrease rates of change in the composition of the atmosphere.