3 years ago

Dry Deposition of Reactive Nitrogen From Satellite Observations of Ammonia and Nitrogen Dioxide Over North America

R. Vet, M. W. Shephard, C. E. Sioris, K. E. Cady-Pereira, E. Hare, N. A. Krotkov, C. A. McLinden, J. M. O'Brien, S. K. Kharol, J. Siemons, L. Zhang
Reactive nitrogen (Nr) is an essential nutrient to plants and a limiting element for growth in many ecosystems, but it can have harmful effects on ecosystems when in excess. Satellite-derived surface observations are used together with a dry deposition model to estimate the dry deposition flux of the most abundant short-lived nitrogen species, NH3 and NO2, over North America during the 2013 warm season. These fluxes demonstrate that the NH3 contribution dominates over NO2 for most regions (comprising ~85% of their sum in Canada and ~65% in the U.S.), with some regional exceptions (e.g. Alberta and northeastern U.S.). Nationwide, ~51 t of N from these species were dry deposited in the U.S., approximately double the ~28 t in Canada over this period. Forest fires are shown to be the major contributor of dry deposition of Nr from NH3 in northern latitudes, leading to deposition fluxes 2–3 times greater than from expected amounts without fires.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075832

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