Macronutrient Cycles Programme
What will the Macronutrient Cycles Programme do?
Nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon are fundamental to our food supply, drinking water quality, air quality, climate and ecosystems.
The programme will increase understanding of how these cycles interact and how they are changing. This is crucial for understanding the environment from local to global scales. The knowledge will be used to provide government with policy advice.
- Greater clarity and consensus about the best methods to measure nutrient cycles and their interaction with land and water ecosystems
- New and improved methods, tools and techniques that are accepted, disseminated and used for measuring nutrients and assessing inputs and outputs.
- UK maintains and strengthens its leading international position in nutrient and climate science
- Input into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th assessment report, the international climate negotiations and the international trans boundary pollution negotiations
- Improved communication of nutrient science in climate science and ecosystem science increases public confidence in environmental information and decision making.
Who will benefit?
The research will provide an improved evidence-base for the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency, Department for Energy and Climate Change, Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly to deliver policies that contribute to areas such as
- climate change agreements
- Water Framework Directive objectives
- North Sea Directives
- Air Pollution protocols.
The programme will deliver improved catchment scale models and decision support tools to predict the outcomes of proposed policy instruments.
The Environment Agency will be able to refine their methods of nutrient management and utilise catchment scale models and decision support tools that will be developed, to help inform future delivery approaches by the Envronment Agency and Natural England. The science will also assist the Met Office to account for greenhouse gases fromland and water in climate system models.
The programme will be aligned with parallel expenditure by the water industry (UK Water Industry Research) on catchment approaches to improve nutrient management and adapt to climate change. The evidence provided by the programme will help inform the water industry on the likely effectiveness of catchment scale schemes to protect drinking water sources.
The programme will disseminate information to the farming industry on methods to control and mitigate nitrogen, phosphorous and carbon releases. The data generated by the programme will be accessible to farmers and will help the sector improve its net environmental performance.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
Start and end dates: 01/09/2010 to 31/08/2015
The N-Calculator- a new tool to measure your Nitrogen footprint.