, Volume 7, Issue 1-3, pp 3-13
Date: 06 Jan 2007

Modelling Seasonal Dynamics from Temporal Variation in Agricultural Practices in the UK Ammonia Emission Inventory

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Most ammonia (NH3) emission inventories have been calculated on an annual basis and do not take into account the seasonal variability of emissions that occur as a consequence of climate and agricultural practices that change throughout the year. When used as input to atmospheric transport models to simulate concentration fields, these models therefore fail to capture seasonal variations in ammonia concentration and dry and wet deposition. In this study, seasonal NH3 emissions from agriculture were modelled on a monthly basis for the year 2000, by incorporating temporal aspects of farming practice. These monthly emissions were then spatially distributed using the AENEID model (Atmospheric Emissions for National Environmental Impacts Determination). The monthly model took the temporal variation in the magnitude of the ammonia emissions, as well as the fine scale (1-km) spatial variation of those temporal changes into account to provide improved outputs at 5-km resolution. The resulting NH3 emission maps showed a strong seasonal emission pattern, with the highest emissions during springtime (March and April) and the lowest emissions during summer (May to July). This emission pattern was mainly influenced by whether cattle were outside grazing or housed and by the application of manures and fertilizers to the land. When the modelled emissions were compared with measured NH3 concentrations, the comparison suggested that the modelled emission trend corresponds fairly well with the seasonal trend in the measurements. The remaining discrepancies point to the need to develop functional parametrisations of the interactions with climatic seasonal variation.