Articles | Volume 12, issue 15
Research article
06 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 06 Aug 2012

Development and uncertainty analysis of a high-resolution NH3 emissions inventory and its implications with precipitation over the Pearl River Delta region, China

J. Y. Zheng, S. S. Yin, D. W. Kang, W. W. Che, and L. J. Zhong

Abstract. Detailed NH3 emission inventories are important to understand various atmospheric processes, air quality modeling studies, air pollution management, and related environmental and ecological issues. A high-resolution NH3 emission inventory was developed based on state-of-the-science techniques, up-to-date information, and advanced expert knowledge for the Pearl River Delta region, China. To provide model-ready emissions input, this NH3 emissions inventory was spatially allocated to 3 km × 3 km grid cells using source-based spatial surrogates with geographical information system (GIS) technology. For NH3 emissions, 9 source categories and 45 subcategories were identified in this region, and detailed spatial and temporal characteristics were investigated. Results show that livestock is by far the most important NH3 emission source by contributing about 61.7% of the total NH3 emissions in this region, followed by nitrogen fertilizer applications (~23.7%) and non-agricultural sources (~14.6%). Uncertainty analysis reveals that the uncertainties associated with different sources vary from source to source and the magnitude of the uncertainty associated with a specific source mainly depends on the degree of accuracy of the emission factors and activity data as well as the technique used to perform the estimate. Further studies should give priority to the hog, broiler, goose subsectors of the livestock source and N fertilizer application source in order to reduce uncertainties of ammonia emission estimates in this region. The validity of the NH3 emissions inventory is justified by the trend analysis of local precipitation compositions, such as pH values, the Ca2++NH4+/SO42−+ NO3 ratios, and NH4+ concentrations which are directly or indirectly related to NH3 emissions.

Final-revised paper