Global, regional and national trends of atmospheric ammonia derived from a decadal (2008-2018) satellite record

Van Damme, Martin; Clarisse, Lieven; Franco, Bruno; Sutton, Mark A. ORCID:; Erisman, Jan Willem; Wichink Kruit, Roy; van Zanten, Margreet; Whitburn, Simon; Hadji-Lazaro, Juliette; Hurtmans, Daniel; Clerbaux, Cathy; Coheur, Pierre-François. 2021 Global, regional and national trends of atmospheric ammonia derived from a decadal (2008-2018) satellite record. Environmental Research Letters, 16 (5), 055017. 22, pp.

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Excess atmospheric ammonia (NH3) leads to deleterious effects on biodiversity, ecosystems, air quality and health, and it is therefore essential to monitor its budget and temporal evolution. Hyperspectral infrared satellite sounders provide daily NH3 observations at global scale for over a decade. Here we use the version 3 of the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) NH3 dataset to derive global, regional and national trends from 2008 to 2018. We find a worldwide increase of 12.8 ± 1.3 % over this 11-year period, driven by large increases in east Asia (5.80 ± 0.61 % increase per year), western and central Africa (2.58 ± 0.23 %.yr−1), North America (2.40 ± 0.45 %.yr−1) and western and southern Europe (1.90 ± 0.43 %.yr−1). These are also seen in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, while the southwestern part of India exhibits decreasing trends. Reported national trends are analyzed in the light of changing anthropogenic and pyrogenic NH3 emissions, meteorological conditions and the impact of sulfur and nitrogen oxides emissions, which alter the atmospheric lifetime of NH3. We end with a short case study dedicated to the Netherlands and the "Dutch Nitrogen crisis" of 2019.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1748-9326
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: ammonia, NH3, trends, emission, agriculture, biomass burning, IASI, satellite
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 31 Dec 2020 14:33 +0 (UTC)

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