Quantifying Nitrous Oxide Emissions in the U.S. Midwest: A Top-Down Study Using High Resolution Airborne In-Situ Observations

Maximilian Eckl, Anke Roiger, Julian Kostinek, Alina Fiehn, Heidi Huntrieser, Christoph Knote, Zachary Robert Barkley, Stephen M. Ogle, Bianca C. Baier, Colm Sweeney, Kenneth J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

The densely farmed U.S. Midwest is a prominent source of nitrous oxide (N2O) but top-down and bottom-up N2O emission estimates differ significantly. We quantify Midwest N2O emissions by combining observations from the Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America campaign with model simulations to scale the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR). In October 2017, we scaled agricultural EDGAR v4.3.2 and v5.0 emissions by factors of 6.3 and 3.5, respectively, resulting in 0.42 nmol m−2 s−1 Midwest N2O emissions. In June/July 2019, a period when extreme flooding was occurring in the Midwest, agricultural scaling factors were 11.4 (v4.3.2) and 9.9 (v5.0), resulting in 1.06 nmol m−2 s−1 Midwest emissions. Uncertainties are on the order of 50 %. Agricultural emissions estimated with the process-based model DayCent (Daily version of the CENTURY ecosystem model) were larger than in EDGAR but still substantially smaller than our estimates. The complexity of N2O emissions demands further studies to fully characterize Midwest emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020GL091266
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 16 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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