A global budget for atmospheric NH3

TitleA global budget for atmospheric NH3
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsSchlesinger WH, Hartley AE
Date Published1992
Accession NumberJRN00148
Call Number00435
Keywordsacid deposition, ammonia volatilization, article, articles, cattle,ammonia, climate,ammonia volatilization, fertilizer,ammonia, fire,ammonia, journal, journals, nitrogen cycling, nutrient cycling, ammonia, nutrient cycling, nitrogen, soil nitrogen, urea

We provide an assessment of the global sources of NH3 in the atmosphere, which indicates an annual flux of about 75 Tg of N as NH3. The emissions from land are dominated by the release of NH3 during the hydrolysis of urea from the urine of domestic animals (32 TgN/yr) and by emanations from soils in unmanaged ecosystems (10 TgN/yr) and from fertilized agricultural soils (9 TgN/yr). Emissions from the sea surface may approach 13 TgN/yr. The total annual source of NH3 is in reasonable agreement with estimates of global NH4+ deposition from the atmosphere, the major fate of atmospheric NH3. As an alkaline atmospheric species, NH3 emitted to the atmosphere each year can neutralize only about 32% of the annual production of H+ in the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources.