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  1. Portable nitrous oxide sensor for understanding agricultural and soil emissions

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the third most important greenhouse gas (GHG,) with an atmospheric lifetime of ~114 years and a global warming impact ~300 times greater than that of carbon dioxide. The main cause of nitrous oxide’s atmospheric increase is anthropogenic emissions, and over 80% of the current global anthropogenic flux is related to agriculture, including associated land-use change. An accurate assessment of N2O emissions from agriculture is vital not only for understanding the global N2O balance and its impact on climate but also for designing crop systems with lower GHG emissions. Such assessments are currently hampered by the lackmore » of instrumentation and methodologies to measure ecosystem-level fluxes at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Southwest Sciences and Princeton University are developing and testing new open-path eddy covariance instrumentation for continuous and fast (10 Hz) measurement of nitrous oxide emissions. An important advance, now being implemented, is the use of new mid-infrared laser sources that enable the development of exceptionally low power (<10 W) compact instrumentation that can be used even in remote sites lacking in power. The instrumentation will transform the ability to measure and understand ecosystem-level nitrous oxide fluxes. The Phase II results included successful extended field testing of prototype flux instruments, based on quantum cascade lasers, in collaboration with Michigan State University. Results of these tests demonstrated a flux detection limit of 5 µg m-2 s-1 and showed excellent agreement and correlation with measurements using chamber techniques. Initial tests of an instrument using an interband cascade laser (ICL) were performed, verifying that an order of magnitude reduction in instrument power requirements can be realized. These results point toward future improvements and testing leading to introduction of a commercial open path instrument for N2O flux measurements that is truly portable and cost-effective. The technology developed on this project is especially groundbreaking as it could be widely applied across FLUXNET and AmeriFlux sites (>1200 worldwide) for direct measurements of N2O exchange. The technology can be more broadly applied to gas monitoring requirements in industry, environmental monitoring, health and safety, etc.« less
  2. Transboundary health impacts of transported global air pollution and international trade

    Millions of people die every year from diseases caused by exposure to outdoor air pollution1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Some studies have estimated premature mortality related to local sources of air pollution6, 7, but local air quality can also be affected by atmospheric transport of pollution from distant sources8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. International trade is contributing to the globalization of emission and pollution as a result of the production of goods (and their associated emissions) in one region for consumption in another region14, 19, 20, 21, 22. The effects of international trade onmore » air pollutant emissions23, air quality14 and health24 have been investigated regionally, but a combined, global assessment of the health impacts related to international trade and the transport of atmospheric air pollution is lacking. Here we combine four global models to estimate premature mortality caused by fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution as a result of atmospheric transport and the production and consumption of goods and services in different world regions. We find that, of the 3.45 million premature deaths related to PM2.5 pollution in 2007 worldwide, about 12 per cent (411,100 deaths) were related to air pollutants emitted in a region of the world other than that in which the death occurred, and about 22 per cent (762,400 deaths) were associated with goods and services produced in one region for consumption in another. For example, PM2.5 pollution produced in China in 2007 is linked to more than 64,800 premature deaths in regions other than China, including more than 3,100 premature deaths in western Europe and the USA; on the other hand, consumption in western Europe and the USA is linked to more than 108,600 premature deaths in China. Our results reveal that the transboundary health impacts of PM2.5 pollution associated with international trade are greater than those associated with long-distance atmospheric pollutant transport.« less
  3. Ammonia and methane dairy emissions in the San Joaquin Valley of California from individual feedlot to regional scale

    Agricultural ammonia (NH 3) emissions are highly uncertain, with high spatiotemporal variability and a lack of widespread in situ measurements. Regional NH 3 emission estimates using mass balance or emission ratio approaches are uncertain due to variable NH 3 sources and sinks as well as unknown plume correlations with other dairy source tracers. We characterize the spatial distributions of NH 3 and methane (CH 4) dairy plumes using in situ surface and airborne measurements in the Tulare dairy feedlot region of the San Joaquin Valley, California, during the NASA Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observationsmore » Relevant to Air Quality 2013 field campaign. Surface NH 3 and CH 4 mixing ratios exhibit large variability with maxima localized downwind of individual dairy feedlots. The geometric mean NH 3:CH 4 enhancement ratio derived from surface measurements is 0.15 ± 0.03 ppmv ppmv –1. Individual dairy feedlots with spatially distinct NH 3 and CH 4 source pathways led to statistically significant correlations between NH 3 and CH 4 in 68% of the 69 downwind plumes sampled. At longer sampling distances, the NH 3:CH 4 enhancement ratio decreases 20–30%, suggesting the potential for NH 3 deposition as a loss term for plumes within a few kilometers downwind of feedlots. Aircraft boundary layer transect measurements directly above surface mobile measurements in the dairy region show comparable gradients and geometric mean enhancement ratios within measurement uncertainties, even when including NH 3 partitioning to submicron particles. Individual NH 3 and CH 4 plumes sampled at close proximity where losses are minimal are not necessarily correlated due to lack of mixing and distinct source pathways. As a result, our analyses have important implications for constraining NH 3 sink and plume variability influences on regional NH 3 emission estimates and for improving NH 3 emission inventory spatial allocations.« less

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"Pan, Da"

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