The Pacific and Indian oceans are found to experience twice the amount of nitrogen fixing as the Atlantic, according to researchers as published in the Jan. 11 issue of Nature.
Since, fixed nitrogen is the building block of life, it’s important to know where nitrogen fixation is occurring, i.e. the spots where nitrogen gas is being converted into substances like nitrate.
To understand the controls of environment on nitrogen fixation and its likely response to climate change in the past as well as in the future, a new research is made. The study indicates that the inventory of nitrogen in the oceans is likely to be less subject to major fluctuations than that has been expected ever.
Defying the past assumption that the Atlantic Ocean would be the prime site for fixing nitrogen, it has been found that the Atlantic is peppered with iron-laden dust blowing off the African continent compared to the other low-latitude oceans.
Jorge Sarmiento, professor of geosciences at Princeton University and one of the co-authors said,
There has been a great deal of controversy in the literature as to whether fixed nitrogen in the ocean remains constant with time or fluctuates widely. This study is a major advance for those of us who have been arguing that it is relatively stable.