Research highlight

Farming pollutants

Nature Geoscience

June 22, 2009

Ammonia emissions may have been underestimated in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a study published online in Nature Geoscience. Ammonia in the atmosphere reduces air quality and when deposited threatens biodiversity. This study's findings highlight the need for regulatory controls of ammonia emissions in the Northern Hemisphere.

Using satellite data from 2008, Lieven Clarisse and colleagues created a global map of atmospheric ammonia concentrations. They found several ammonia hotspots, primarily over agricultural regions in Asia, Europe, and North America. The satellite-derived estimates of ammonia concentrations exceeded those attained from model simulations in the northern hemisphere, suggesting that current accounts underestimate emissions.

doi: 10.1038/ngeo551

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