Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 53, Issue 8, pp 1255–1261

Ammonium record over the last 96 years from the muztagata glacier in Central Asia

  • HuaBiao Zhao
  • TanDong Yao
  • BaiQing Xu
  • Zhen Li
  • KeQin Duan
Articles Atmospheric Sciences


As a major alkaline gas in the atmosphere, ammonia (NH3) plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry. However, there is little knowledge about NH3 variations in the Central Asia. Here we analyzed the ammonium (NH4+) history recorded in an ice core from the East Pamir in Central Asia, which was drilled on the Mt. Muztagata at the elevation of 7010 m a.s.l. in 2003. The core was carefully dated and NH4+ concentration history during 1907–2002 was reconstructed. The result shows that NH4+ concentration remained approximately constant until the 1930s after a sudden decrease at the very beginning of the 20th century, followed by a minimum in 1940 before increasing steadily to the peak at the end of 1990s. It is found that the annual mean NH4+ concentration was strongly associated with the Northern Hemisphere temperature, suggesting the impact of temperature on NH3 emissions in the Central Asia. Moreover, an increase of NH4+ concentration after 1940 also reflects the enhancement of NH3 emissions from anthropogenic sources such as fertilizer applications and livestock wastes in the 20th century.


Muztagata ice core ammonium concentration ammonia emission deposition source 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • HuaBiao Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • TanDong Yao
    • 3
    • 1
  • BaiQing Xu
    • 3
  • Zhen Li
    • 1
  • KeQin Duan
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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