Science Inventory

Global evaluation of ammonia bidirectional exchange and livestock diurnal variation schemes


Zhu, L., D. Henze, J. Bash, G. Jeong, K. Cady-Pereira, M. Shephard, M. Luo, F. Poulot, AND S. Capps. Global evaluation of ammonia bidirectional exchange and livestock diurnal variation schemes. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Copernicus Publications, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, 15:12823-12843, (2015).


The National Exposure Research Laboratory’s Atmospheric Modeling Division (AMAD) conducts research in support of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. AMAD’s research program is engaged in developing and evaluating predictive atmospheric models on all spatial and temporal scales for forecasting the Nation’s air quality and for assessing changes in air quality and air pollutant exposures, as affected by changes in ecosystem management and regulatory decisions. AMAD is responsible for providing a sound scientific and technical basis for regulatory policies based on air quality models to improve ambient air quality. The models developed by AMAD are being used by EPA, NOAA, and the air pollution community in understanding and forecasting not only the magnitude of the air pollution problem, but also in developing emission control policies and regulations for air quality improvements.


Bidirectional air–surface exchange of ammonia (NH3) has been neglected in many air quality models. In this study, we implement the bidirectional exchange of NH3 in the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model. We also introduce an updated diurnal variability scheme for NH3 livestock emissions and evaluate the recently developed MASAGE_NH3 bottom-up inventory. While updated diurnal variability improves comparison of modeled-to-hourly in situ measurements in the southeastern USA, NH3 concentrations decrease throughout the globe, up to 17 ppb in India and southeastern China, with corresponding decreases in aerosol nitrate by up to 7 μg m−3. The ammonium (NH4+) soil pool in the bidirectional exchange model largely extends the NH3 lifetime in the atmosphere. Including bidirectional exchange generally increases NH3 gross emissions (7.1 %) and surface concentrations (up to 3.9 ppb) throughout the globe in July, except in India and southeastern China. In April and October, it decreases NH3 gross emissions in the Northern Hemisphere (e.g., 43.6 % in April in China) and increases NH3 gross emissions in the Southern Hemisphere. Bidirectional exchange does not largely impact NH4+ wet deposition overall. While bidirectional exchange is fundamentally a better representation of NH3 emissions from fertilizers, emissions from primary sources are still underestimated and thus significant model biases remain when compared to in situ measurements in the USA. The adjoint of bidirectional exchange has also been developed for the GEOS-Chem model and is used to investigate the sensitivity of NH3 concentrations with respect to soil pH and fertilizer application rate. This study thus lays the groundwork for future inverse modeling studies to more directly constrain these physical processes rather than tuning bulk unidirectional NH3 emissions.

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Record Details:

Product Published Date: 11/19/2015
Record Last Revised: 12/31/2015
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 310737