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Hannah Ritchie, Max Roser


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus


Per Capita Nitrous Oxide Emissions by Sector

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  • This interactive chart displays the per capita nitrous oxide emissions by sector annually since 1990 for any country or globally.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource clearly shows trends in per capita nitrous oxide emissions over time.
  • The data can be viewed in a variety of ways including both animated and static charts and tables.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how to read a line graph and be familiar with the term fugitive emissions.
  • Students may need some background information about nitrous oxide as a greenhouse gas and an unregulated ozone-depleting substance.


  • Cross-curricular connections could be made with geography classes by exploring trends in the location of countries and their per capita nitrous oxide emissions.
  • Students could further research nitrous oxide using guiding questions such as:
    • How potent is nitrous oxide as a greenhouse gas?
    • How is nitrous oxide released from fertilizer and waste lagoons?
    • How does fertilizer use contribute to eutrophication and affect water ecosystems?
    • How important is nitrous oxide as an ozone-damaging gas?
Scientist Notes

The resource choose a 100-year time scale for the GWP to calculate and normalize these F gases units into a single unit expressed in CO2e This method is appropriate as it considered the residence time of N2O - CO2 emissions per capita from the sectors. In the chart, agriculture appears to emit the highest concentration of N2O globally. The resource is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • HSS.IC.B.6(+) Evaluate reports based on data (e.g., interrogate study design, data sources, randomization, the way the data are analyzed and displayed, inferences drawn and methods used; identify and explain misleading uses of data; recognize when arguments based on data are flawed).
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