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Indirect N2O emission due to atmospheric N deposition for the Netherlands

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Author: Denier van der Gon, H.A.C. · Bleeker, A.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:Atmospheric Environment, 32, 39, 5827-5838
Identifier: 238726
doi: doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2005.06.019
Keywords: Emission factor · Greenhouse gases · IPCC methodology · N deposition · Database systems · Ecosystems · Error analysis · Greenhouse effect · Mathematical models · Soils · Emission factor · Greenhouse gases · IPCC methodology · N deposition · Nitrous oxides · Nitrogen oxides · nitrogen · nitrogen dioxide · surface water · atmospheric deposition · emission inventory · greenhouse gas · agriculture · aquatic environment · atmosphere · calculation · ecosystem · gas · greenhouse · methodology · nitrogen deposition · priority journal · quantitative analysis · reliability · review · Benelux · Eastern Hemisphere · Eurasia · Europe · Netherlands · Western Europe · World


Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a potent greenhouse gas produced in soils and aquatic systems. The UNFCCC requires participants to report 'indirect' N2O emissions, following from agricultural N losses to ground- and surface water and N deposition on (other) ecosystems due to agricultural sources. Indirect N2O emission due to atmospheric N deposition is presently not reported by the Netherlands. In this paper, we quantify the consequences of various tiers to estimate indirect N2O due to deposition for a country with a high agricultural N use and discuss the reliability and potential errors in the IPCC methodology. A literature review suggests that the current IPCC default emission factor for indirect N 2O from N deposition is underestimated by a factor ∼2. Moreover, considering anthropogenic N emissions from agriculture only and not from e.g., traffic and industry, results in further underestimation of indirect N 2O emissions. We calculated indirect N2O emissions due to Dutch anthropogenic N emissions to air by using official Dutch N emission data as input in an atmospheric transport and deposition model in combination with land use databases. Next, land use-specific emission factors were used to estimate the indirect N2O emission. This revealed that (1) for some countries, like the Netherlands, most agricultural N emitted will be deposited on agricultural soils, not on natural ecosystems and, (2) indirect N 2O emissions are at least ∼20% higher because more specific emission factors can be applied that are higher than the IPCC default. The results suggest that indirect N2O emission due to deposition is underestimated in current N2O budgets. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Chemicals/CAS: nitrogen dioxide, 10102-44-0; nitrogen, 7727-37-9