The Nitrous Oxide Focus Group is a consortium-based research initiative established to explore the action of the greenhouse gas, Nitrous Oxide; its role in climate change, the role of bacteria in the greenhouse gas emissions and to develop techniques to mitigate its effect.

The team of computer scientists, biologists, soil scientists , microbiologists, chemists and environmental scientists led by Professor David Richardson of the University of East Anglia, aims, among other things to develop a computational model of the process by which land-based bacteria produce the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide. The Focus Group will also concentrate on understanding the sources of this potent greenhouse gas, the chemistry and biology behind the production of nitrous oxide and its overall impact upon climate change.

Recognised in the Kyoto Protocol, nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide and represents 9% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture and waste and water treatment industries account for 80% of this, and developing a computational model will assist in implementing future mitigation strategies from these land-based sectors. Understanding the factors that affect the emission of this potent gas will be of great benefit to a range of industries including agriculture, food, transport and land management.

Ultimately the Group will work toward solutions for the wider community and commercial and non-academic partners are being sought to inform and enable the development of opportunities arising from the Nitrous Oxide Focus Group's Group research.

Visit to UEA on 29th January 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales (Patron of the School of Environmental Science). HRH met with staff and researchers and was briefed on issues within the environmental science arena including the work of the Nitrous Oxide Focus group.

David Cameron meets with Professor David Richardson to discuss environmental issues.