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Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
doi:10.5194/essd-2016-35
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
 
08 Aug 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).
Global nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use for agriculture production in the past half century: Shifted hot spots and nutrient imbalance
Chaoqun Lu1,2 and Hanqin Tian2 1Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
2International Center for Climate and Global Change Research, and School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 36849, USA
Abstract. In addition to enhance agricultural productivity, synthetic nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P) fertilizer application in croplands dramatically altered global nutrient budget, water quality, greenhouse gas balance, and their feedbacks to the climate system. However, due to the lack of geospatial fertilizer input data, current Earth system/land surface modeling studies have to ignore or use over-simplified data (e.g., static, spatially uniform fertilizer use) to characterize agricultural N and P input over decadal or century-long period. In this study, we therefore develop a global time-series gridded data of annual synthetic N and P fertilizer use rate in croplands, matched with HYDE 3,2 historical land use maps, at a resolution of 0.5º latitude by longitude during 1900–2013. Our data indicate N and P fertilizer use rates increased by approximately 8 times and 3 times, respectively, since the year 1961, when IFA (International Fertilizer Industry Association) and FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization) survey of country-level fertilizer input were available. Considering cropland expansion, increase of total fertilizer consumption amount is even larger. Hotspots of agricultural N fertilizer use shifted from the U.S. and Western Europe in the 1960s to East Asia in the early 21st century. P fertilizer input show the similar pattern with additional hotspot in Brazil. We find a global increase of fertilizer N / P ratio by 0.8 g N / g P per decade (p < 0.05) during 1961–2013, which may have important global implication of human impacts on agroecosystem functions in the long run. Our data can serve as one of critical input drivers for regional and global assessment on agricultural productivity, crop yield, agriculture-derived greenhouse gas balance, global nutrient budget, land-to-aquatic nutrient loss, and ecosystem feedback to the climate system. Datasets available at: https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.863323.

Citation: Lu, C. and Tian, H.: Global nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use for agriculture production in the past half century: Shifted hot spots and nutrient imbalance, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., doi:10.5194/essd-2016-35, in review, 2016.
Chaoqun Lu and Hanqin Tian

Data sets

Half-degree gridded nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer use for global agriculture production during 1900–2013
C. Lu and H. Tian
https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.863323
Chaoqun Lu and Hanqin Tian

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Short summary
This work has addressed how agricultural nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer use changed over time and space. The final product covers global agricultural land, spanning from 1900 to 2013 at a spatial resolution of 0.5° in latitude by longitude. It can serve as an important driver for regional and global assessment, and Earth system modeling on agricultural productivity, crop yield, greenhouse gas balance, global nutrient budget, land-to-aquatic nutrient loss, and ecosystem feedback to climate.
This work has addressed how agricultural nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer use changed over...
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