Satellite observations of tropospheric ammonia and carbon monoxide: global distributions, regional correlations and comparisons to model simulations

Luo, Ming; Shephard, Mark W.; Cady-Pereira, Karen E.; Henze, Daven K.; Zhu, Liye; Bash, Jesse O.; Pinder, Robert W.; Capps, Shannon L.; Walker, John T.; Jones, Matthew R.. 2015 Satellite observations of tropospheric ammonia and carbon monoxide: global distributions, regional correlations and comparisons to model simulations. Atmospheric Environment, 106. 262-277.

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Ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO) are primary pollutants emitted to the Earth's atmosphere from common as well as distinct sources associated with anthropogenic and natural activities. The seasonal and global distributions and correlations of NH3 and CO from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite observations and GEOS-Chem model simulations for 2007 are investigated to evaluate how well the global and seasonal pollutant sources are prescribed in the model. Although the GEOS-Chem simulations of NH3 and CO atmospheric mixing ratio values are lower than the TES satellite observations, the global distribution patterns from the model reasonably agree with the observations, indicating that the model represents the general location of the source regions and the seasonal enhancements of NH3 and CO globally over large regional scales. In regions and seasons where biomass burning is the dominant source of both NH3 and CO emissions into the atmosphere, there are strong NH3:CO correlations, which is consistent with the relationship demonstrated by surface measurements over fires. In regions where the enhanced NH3 and CO are known to be produced by different sources, the NH3:CO correlations from TES observations and model simulations are weak or non-existent. For biomass burning regions the NH3:CO ratios are 0.015 (TES) and 0.013 (GEOS-Chem). In regions of high-population density, known heavy traffic, and limited biomass burning sources, such as the rapidly developing areas of South Asia and northern China, which include mixtures of megacities, industrial, and agricultural areas, the two species show weaker but still positive correlations and NH3:CO ratios of 0.051 (TES) and 0.036 (GEOS-Chem). These enhancement ratios of NH3 relative to CO are useful in constraining NH3 emission inventories when CO emission inventories are better known for some events or regions (i.e. biomass burning).

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Dise
ISSN: 1352-2310
Additional Keywords: satellite observations of carbon monoxide and ammonia, GEOS-Chem model simulations
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 11 Feb 2016 11:43 +0 (UTC)

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