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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  05 May 2020

05 May 2020

Review status
A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP.

Do alternative inventories converge on the spatiotemporal representation of spring ammonia emissions in France?

Audrey Fortems-Cheiney1,a, Gaëlle Dufour1, Karine Dufossé2,b, Florian Couvidat3, Jean-Marc Gilliot2, Guillaume Siour1, Matthias Beekmann1, Gilles Foret1, Frederik Meleux3, Lieven Clarisse4, Pierre-François Coheur4, Martin Van Damme4, Cathy Clerbaux4,5, and Sophie Génermont2 Audrey Fortems-Cheiney et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université de Paris, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil, France
  • 2Université Paris–Saclay, INRAE, AgroParisTech, UMR ECOSYS, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France
  • 3Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques, INERIS, 60550 Verneuil en Halatte, France
  • 4Université libre de Bruxelles, Spectroscopy, Quantum Chemistry and Atmospheric Remote Sensing (SQUARES), Brussels, Belgium
  • 5LATMOS/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, UVSQ, CNRS, Paris, France
  • anow at: Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE-IPSL (CEA-CNRS-UVSQ), Université Paris–Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • bnow at: UniLaSalle – Ecole des Métiers de l'Environnement, Rennes, France

Abstract. Agriculture is the main source of ammonia (NH3) in France, an important gaseous precursor of atmospheric particulate matter (PM). National and even more global emission inventories are known to have difficulty representing the large spatial and temporal variability inherent to atmospheric NH3. In this study, we compare NH3 emissions in France during the spring 2011 from (i) one reference inventory, the TNO inventory, and two alternative inventories that account in different manners for both the spatial and temporal variabilities of the emissions (ii) the NH3SAT satellite-derived inventory based on IASI NH3 columns and (iii) the CADASTRE-CIT inventory that combines NH3 emissions due to nitrogen fertilization calculated with the mechanistic model VOLT'AIR on the database of the CADASTRE_NH3 framework and other source emissions from the CITEPA. The total spring budgets at the national level are higher when calculated with both alternative inventories than with the reference, the difference being more marked with CADASTRE-CIT. NH3SAT and CADASTRE-CIT inventories both yield to large NH3 emissions due to fertilization on soils with high pH in the northeastern part of France (65 kt NH3 and 135 kt NH3, respectively, vs 48 kt NH3 for TNO-GEN), while soil properties are not accounted for by the TNO-GEN methodology. For the other parts of France, the differences are smaller. The timing of fertilization and associated ammonia emissions is closely related to the nitrogen requirements and hence the phenological stage of the crops, and therefore tothe crop-year's specific weather conditions. Maximum emissions are observed in March for 2011 for some regions for both alternative inventories, while April is the period with maximum emissions for the reference inventory whatever the region or the year. Comparing the inventories at finer temporal resolutions, typically at daily scale, large differences are found. The convergence of alternative, independent and complementary methods on the spatiotemporal representation of the spring NH3 emissions particularly over areas where the contribution of mineral fertilizer spreading to the spring budget is strong, encouraging further developments in both prospected complementary directions, as this will help improving national NH3 emission inventories.

Audrey Fortems-Cheiney et al.

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Audrey Fortems-Cheiney et al.

Audrey Fortems-Cheiney et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Studies have suggested the importance of ammonia emissions on pollution particle formation over Europe, whose main atmospheric source is agriculture. In this study, we performed an inter-comparison of two alternative inventories with a reference inventory that quantify the French ammonia emissions during spring 2011. Over regions with large mineral fertilizer use, like over North-Eastern France, NH3 emissions are probably considerably underestimated by the reference inventory.
Studies have suggested the importance of ammonia emissions on pollution particle formation over...