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On the weekly cycle of atmospheric ammonia over European agricultural hotspots

Abstract : The presence of a weekly cycle in the abundance of an atmospheric constituent is a typical fingerprint for the anthropogenic nature of its emission sources. However, while ammonia is mainly emitted as a consequence of human activities, a weekly cycle has never been detected in its abundances at large scale. We expose here for the first time the presence of a weekend effect in the NH 3 total columns measured by the IASI satellite sounder over the main agricultural source regions in Europe: northwestern Europe (Belgium-the Netherlands-northwest Germany), the Po Valley, Brittany, and, to a lesser extent, the Ebro Valley. A decrease of 15% relative to the weekly mean is seen on Sunday-Monday observations in northwestern Europe, as a result of reduced NH 3 emissions over the weekend. This is confirmed by in situ NH 3 concentration data from the National Air Quality Monitoring Network in the Netherlands, where an average reduction of 10% is found around midnight on Sunday. The identified weekend effect presents a strong seasonal variability, with two peaks, one in spring and one in summer, coinciding with the two main (manure) fertilization periods. In spring, a reduction on Sunday-Monday up to 53 and 26% is found in the NH 3 satellite columns and in situ concentrations, respectively, as fertilization largely drives atmospheric NH 3 abundances at this time of the year.
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Submitted on : Sunday, July 31, 2022 - 8:29:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 3:29:23 AM


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Martin van Damme, Lieven Clarisse, Trissevgeni Stavrakou, Roy Wichink Kruit, Louise Sellekaerts, et al.. On the weekly cycle of atmospheric ammonia over European agricultural hotspots. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 12, pp.12327. ⟨10.1038/s41598-022-15836-w⟩. ⟨insu-03741159⟩



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