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UK Ammonia Emissions Estimated With Satellite Observations and GEOS‐Chem

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  • Eloise Marais
  • Alok Kumar Pandey
  • Martin Van Damme
  • Lieven Clarisse
  • Pierre-Francois Coheur
  • Mark W. Shephard
  • Karen E. Cady-Pereira
  • Tom Misselbrook
  • Lei Zhu
  • Gan Luo
  • Fangqun Yu
Article numbere2021JD035237
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number18
Number of pages18
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date13/09/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Agricultural emissions of ammonia (NH 3) impact air quality, human health, and the vitality of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. In the UK, there are few direct policies regulating anthropogenic NH 3 emissions and development of sustainable mitigation measures necessitates reliable emissions estimates. Here, we use observations of column densities of NH 3 from two space-based sensors (IASI and CrIS) with the GEOS-Chem model to derive top-down NH 3 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 NH 3. 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 NH 3 emissions and warrant further investigation.