Estimating global ammonia (NH3) emissions based on IASI observations from 2008 to 2018
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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Emissions of ammonia (NH3) to the atmosphere impact human health, climate, and ecosystems via their critical contributions to secondary aerosol formation. However, the estimation of NH3 emissions is associated with large uncertainties because of inadequate knowledge about agricultural sources. Here, we use satellite observations from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) and simulations from the GEOS-Chem model to constrain global NH3 emissions over the period from 2008 to 2018. We update the prior NH3 emission fluxes with the ratio between biases in simulated NH3 concentrations and effective NH3 lifetimes against the loss of the NHx family. In contrast to the approximate factor of 2 discrepancies between top-down and bottom-up emissions found in previous studies, our method results in a global land NH3 emission of 78 (70–92) Tg a−1, which is ∼30 % higher than the bottom-up estimates. Regionally, we find that the bottom-up inventory underestimates NH3 emissions over South America and tropical Africa by 60 %–70 %, indicating underrepresentation of agricultural sources in these regions. We find a good agreement within 10 % between bottom-up and top-down estimates over the US, Europe, and eastern China. Our results also show significant increases in NH3 emissions over India (13 % per decade), tropical Africa (33 % per decade), and South America (18 % per decade) during our study period, which is consistent with the intensifying agricultural activity in these regions in the past decade. We find that the inclusion of the sulfur dioxide (SO2) column observed by satellite is crucial for more accurate inference of NH3 emission trends over important source regions such as India and China where SO2 emissions have changed rapidly in recent years.
CitationLuo, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Chen, W.; Van Damme, M.; Coheur, P.-F.; Clarisse, L. (2022). Estimating global ammonia (NH3) emissions based on IASI observations from 2008 to 2018. , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 22, Issue 15, 10375-10388, DOI: 10.5194/acp-22-10375-2022.