Articles | Volume 18, issue 3
Research article
13 Feb 2018
Research article |  | 13 Feb 2018

Contributions of natural and anthropogenic sources to ambient ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands and north-western Canada

Cynthia H. Whaley, Paul A. Makar, Mark W. Shephard, Leiming Zhang, Junhua Zhang, Qiong Zheng, Ayodeji Akingunola, Gregory R. Wentworth, Jennifer G. Murphy, Shailesh K. Kharol, and Karen E. Cady-Pereira

Related authors

Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) trace gas measurements at the University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory from 2002 to 2020
Shoma Yamanouchi, Stephanie Conway, Kimberly Strong, Orfeo Colebatch, Erik Lutsch, Sébastien Roche, Jeffrey Taylor, Cynthia H. Whaley, and Aldona Wiacek
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 15, 3387–3418,,, 2023
Short summary
Present and future aerosol impacts on Arctic climate change in the GISS-E2.1 Earth system model
Ulas Im, Kostas Tsigaridis, Gregory Faluvegi, Peter L. Langen, Joshua P. French, Rashed Mahmood, Manu A. Thomas, Knut von Salzen, Daniel C. Thomas, Cynthia H. Whaley, Zbigniew Klimont, Henrik Skov, and Jørgen Brandt
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 10413–10438,,, 2021
Short summary
How much does traffic contribute to benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon air pollution? Results from a high-resolution North American air quality model centred on Toronto, Canada
Cynthia H. Whaley, Elisabeth Galarneau, Paul A. Makar, Michael D. Moran, and Junhua Zhang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 2911–2925,,, 2020
Short summary
GEM-MACH-PAH (rev2488): a new high-resolution chemical transport model for North American polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and benzene
Cynthia H. Whaley, Elisabeth Galarneau, Paul A. Makar, Ayodeji Akingunola, Wanmin Gong, Sylvie Gravel, Michael D. Moran, Craig Stroud, Junhua Zhang, and Qiong Zheng
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 2609–2632,,, 2018
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Gases | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling and Data Analysis | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Chemistry (chemical composition and reactions)
The atmospheric oxidizing capacity in China – Part 1: Roles of different photochemical processes
Jianing Dai, Guy P. Brasseur, Mihalis Vrekoussis, Maria Kanakidou, Kun Qu, Yijuan Zhang, Hongliang Zhang, and Tao Wang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 14127–14158,,, 2023
Short summary
Benefits of net-zero policies for future ozone pollution in China
Zhenze Liu, Oliver Wild, Ruth M. Doherty, Fiona M. O'Connor, and Steven T. Turnock
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 13755–13768,,, 2023
Short summary
Simulating impacts on UK air quality from net-zero forest planting scenarios
Gemma Purser, Mathew R. Heal, Edward J. Carnell, Stephen Bathgate, Julia Drewer, James I. L. Morison, and Massimo Vieno
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 13713–13733,,, 2023
Short summary
Understanding offshore high-ozone events during TRACER-AQ 2021 in Houston: insights from WRF–CAMx photochemical modeling
Wei Li, Yuxuan Wang, Xueying Liu, Ehsan Soleimanian, Travis Griggs, James Flynn, and Paul Walter
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 13685–13699,,, 2023
Short summary
Opinion: Establishing a science-into-policy process for tropospheric ozone assessment
Richard G. Derwent, David D. Parrish, and Ian C. Faloona
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 23, 13613–13623,,, 2023
Short summary

Cited articles

Aneja, V., Bunton, B., Walker, J., and Malik, B.: Measurement and analysis of atmospheric ammonia emissions from anaerobic lagoons, Atmos. Environ., 35, 1949–1958,, 2001. a, b
Asman, W. A. H., Sutton, M. A., and Schjorring, J. K.: Ammonia: emission, atmospheric transport and deposition, New Phytol., 139, 27–48,, 1998. a, b
Ayres, J., Bittman, S., Girdhar, S., Sheppard, S., Niemi, D., Ratte, D., and Smith, P.: Chap. 5: Sources of Ammonia Emissions, in: The 2008 Canadian Atmospheric Assessment of Agricultural Ammonia, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, QC, Canada, 2009. a
Bash, J. O., Walker, J. T., Katul, G. G., Jones, M. R., Nemitz, E., and Robarge, W. P.: Estimation of In-Canopy Ammonia sources and sinks in a fertilized Zea mays field, Environ. Sci. Technol., 44, 1683–1689,, 2010. a
Bash, J. O., Cooter, E. J., Dennis, R. L., Walker, J. T., and Pleim, J. E.: Evaluation of a regional air-quality model with bidirectional NH3 exchange coupled to an agroecosystem model, Biogeosciences, 10, 1635–1645,, 2013. a
Short summary
Using a modified air quality forecasting model, we have found that a significant fraction (> 50 %) of ambient ammonia comes from re-emission from plants and soils in the broader Athabasca Oil Sands region and much of Alberta and Saskatchewan. We also found that about 20 % of ambient ammonia in Alberta and Saskatchewan came from forest fires in the summer of 2013. The addition of these two processes improved modelled ammonia, which was a motivating factor in undertaking this research.
Final-revised paper