Modelling Atmospheric Ammonia using Agricultural Emissions with Improved Spatial Variability

This paper describes a novel ammonia emission model that quantifies agricultural emissions with improved spatial and temporal details in Germany and Benelux.

The improvement of spatial variability is achieved with detailed agricultural activity data and land use maps generated with Sentinel-1/2 measurements. Dynamic inter-annual allocation is realized by taking into account local climatology and legislation constraints. The emission estimates were imported into LOTOS-EUROS to obtain surface concentrations and total columns. A comparison with satellite observations and in-situ measurements showed much better agreement than the original model.

Ammonia emission to the atmosphere has increased substantially at global scale, largely due to the intensification of agriculture. Even though ammonia emissions contribute to a range of threats to the environment and human health, there are large uncertainties in ammonia budget and its distribution, at global and regional scale. We developed a novel ammonia emission model at European scale that quantifies agricultural emissions with better spatial details and gives insight into the temporal dynamics.