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UK ammonia emissions estimated with satellite observations and GEOS-Chem
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  • Eloise Ann Marais,
  • Alok K Pandey,
  • Martin Van Damme,
  • Lieven Clarisse,
  • Pierre-Francois Coheur,
  • Mark W. Shephard,
  • Karen Cady-Pereira,
  • Tom Misselbrook,
  • Lei Zhu,
  • Gan Luo,
  • Fangqun Yu
Eloise Ann Marais
University College London, University College London

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alok K Pandey
University of Leicester, University of Leicester
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Martin Van Damme
Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
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Lieven Clarisse
Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
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Pierre-Francois Coheur
Universite Libre de Bruxelles CP160/09, Universite Libre de Bruxelles CP160/09
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Mark W. Shephard
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada
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Karen Cady-Pereira
Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.
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Tom Misselbrook
Rothamsted Research Ltd, Rothamsted Research Ltd
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Lei Zhu
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology
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Gan Luo
ASRC, SUNY-Albany, ASRC, SUNY-Albany
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Fangqun Yu
University at Albany, University at Albany
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Agricultural emissions of ammonia (NH3) impact air quality, human health, and the vitality of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In the UK, there are few direct policies regulating anthropogenic NH3 emissions and development of sustainable mitigation measures necessitates reliable emissions estimates. Here we use observations of column densities of NH3 from two space-based sensors (IASI and CrIS) with the GEOS-Chem model to derive top-down NH3 emissions for the UK at fine spatial (~10 km) and time (monthly) scales. We focus on March-September when there is adequate spectral signal to reliably retrieve NH3. We estimate total emissions of 272 Gg from IASI and 389 Gg from CrIS. Bottom-up emissions are 27% less than IASI and 49% less than CrIS. There are also differences in seasonality. Top-down and bottom-up emissions agree on a spring April peak due to fertilizer and manure application, but there is also a comparable summer July peak in the top-down emissions that is not in the bottom-up emissions and appears to be associated with dairy cattle farming. We estimate relative errors in the top-down emissions of 11-36% for IASI and 9-27% for CrIS, dominated by column density retrieval errors. The bottom-up versus top-down emissions discrepancies estimated in this work impact model predictions of the environmental damage caused by NH3 emissions and warrant further investigation.
27 Sep 2021Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres volume 126 issue 18. 10.1029/2021JD035237