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Nitrous oxide (N2O) UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • Between 1980 and 2020, there was a significant growth in the emissions of planet-warming nitrous oxide (N2O), with China being the largest emitter, followed by India and the U.S., according to a report by Global Carbon Project.

  • 40 percent increase in nitrous oxide emission in the last four decades

Nitrous oxide (N2O) 

  • Nitrous oxide (dinitrogen oxide or dinitrogen monoxide), commonly known as laughing gas 

  • At room temperature, it is a colourless non-flammable gas, and has a slightly sweet scent and taste.

  • At elevated temperatures, nitrous oxide is a powerful oxidiser similar to molecular oxygen.

  • Nitrous oxide has significant medical uses, especially in surgery and dentistry, for its anaesthetic and pain-reducing effects.

Effects on global warming

  • It is a major scavenger of stratospheric ozone, with an impact comparable to that of CFCs.

  • About 40% of human-caused emissions are from agriculture.

  • Nitrogen is added to the soil via animal urine and dung, and synthetic fertilisers: micro-organisms then release it in nitrous oxide.

  • Being the third most important greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide substantially contributes to global warming.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Nitrous oxide (N2O) UPSC NOTE
Nitrous oxide (N2O) UPSC NOTE
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