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Continental and Ecoregion-Specific Drivers of Atmospheric NO2 and NH3 Seasonality Over Africa Revealed by Satellite Observations

Abstract : Ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx: nitrogen dioxide [NO2] + nitric oxide [NO]) play important roles in atmospheric chemistry. Throughout most of Africa, emissions of these gases are predominantly from soils and biomass burning. Here we use observations of tropospheric NO2 vertical column densities (VCDs) from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument from 2005 through 2017 and atmospheric NH3 VCDs from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer from 2008 through 2017 to evaluate seasonal variation of NO2 and NH3 VCDs across Africa and in seven African ecoregions. In regions where mean annual precipitation (MAP) is under 500 mm yr−1, we find that NO2 and NH3 VCDs are positively related to monthly precipitation, and where MAP is between 500 and 1,750 mm yr−1 or higher, NO2 VCDs are negatively related to monthly precipitation. In dry ecoregions, temperature and precipitation were important predictors of NH3 and NO2 VCDs, likely related to variation in soil emissions. In mesic ecoregions, monthly NO2 VCDs were strongly related to burned area, suggesting that biomass burning drives seasonality. NH3 VCDs in mesic ecoregions were positively related to both monthly temperature and monthly carbon monoxide (CO) VCDs, suggesting that a mixture of soil and biomass burning emissions influenced NH3 seasonality. In northern mesic ecoregions, monthly temperature explained most of the variance in monthly NH3 VCDs, suggesting that soil sources, including animal excreta, determined NH3 seasonality. In southern mesic ecoregions, monthly CO VCDs explained more variation in NH3 VCDs than temperature, suggesting that biomass burning may have greater influence over NH3 seasonality.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 24, 2022 - 8:15:34 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:03:41 AM


Global Biogeochemical Cycles -...
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Jonathan E. Hickman, Niels Andela, Kostas Tsigaridis, Corinne Galy-Lacaux, Money Ossohou, et al.. Continental and Ecoregion-Specific Drivers of Atmospheric NO2 and NH3 Seasonality Over Africa Revealed by Satellite Observations. GLOBAL BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES, 2021, 35, ⟨10.1029/2020GB006916⟩. ⟨insu-03671634⟩



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