In this video excerpt from NOVA: “Earth From Space,” learn about the global impact of lightning and how it produces an essential nutrient for living things. Satellite images show the distribution of electrical storms on Earth and the frequency of lightning strikes. Visualizations and narration describe the formation of lightning and its role in the production of nitrate, a vital nutrient for life. This video also explains how rain transports nitrate to the ground, where it is ...
Nitrogen exists in the environment as nitrogen gas, in an organic form. Plants however are only able to access N in its inorganic form, as ammonium or nitrate. Biochemical processes must be preformed by nitrogen-fixing bacteria found within the soil to produce ammonium or nitrate from nitrogen gas. Without this reaction, plants will experience nitrogen deficient conditions although the atmosphere is roughly made up of 78% nitrogen.