Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy Production and Environmental Protection: 2nd International Nitrogen Conference 2001View this Special Issue
Research Article | Open Access
Developing Seasonal Ammonia Emission Estimates with an Inverse Modeling Technique
Significant uncertainty exists in magnitude and variability of ammonia (NH3) emissions, which are needed for air quality modeling of aerosols and deposition of nitrogen compounds. Approximately 85% of NH3 emissions are estimated to come from agricultural nonpoint sources. We suspect a strong seasonal pattern in NH3 emissions; however, current NH3 emission inventories lack intra-annual variability. Annually averaged NH3 emissions could significantly affect model-predicted concentrations and wet and dry deposition of nitrogen-containing compounds. We apply a Kalman filter inverse modeling technique to deduce monthly NH3 emissions for the eastern U.S. Final products of this research will include monthly emissions estimates from each season. Results for January and June 1990 are currently available and are presented here. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model and ammonium (NH4+) wet concentration data from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) network are used. The inverse modeling technique estimates the emission adjustments that provide optimal modeled results with respect to wet NH4+ concentrations, observational data error, and emission uncertainty. Our results suggest that annual average NH3 emissions estimates should be decreased by 64% for January 1990 and increased by 25% for June 1990. These results illustrate the strong differences that are anticipated for NH3 emissions.