Atmospheric Ammonia

Detecting emission changes and environmental impacts. Results of an Expert Workshop under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution

Editors: Sutton, Mark, Reis, Stefan, Baker, Samantha (Eds.)

  • Explains the current state of knowledge of the behavior of ammonia in the environment
  • Reports new critical level values
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Softcover $249.00
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-8953-1
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About this book

Atmospheric ammonia is increasingly being recognized as a pollutant of key environmental concern. Ammonia contributes to several environmental problems, including direct toxic effects on vegetation, atmospheric nitrogen deposition, leading to the eutrophication and acidification of sensitive ecosystem, and to the formation of secondary particulate matter in the atmosphere, with effects on human health, atmospheric visibility and global radiative balance. Ammonia emissions are increasing rapidly in many parts of the world, so that these environmental concerns are expected to grow in future. In Europe, efforts are currently being made to reduce ammonia emissions, alongside reductions in other air pollutants, notably sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. However, reducing ammonia emissions has proved uncertain and challenging, with only modest regional reductions achieved to date. As the emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are reduced, ammonia is therefore increasingly dominating the air pollution climate of Europe and the consequent environmental impacts.

It was in this context that the leading international experts met in Edinburgh in December 2006 under the auspices of the UN-ECE Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution to review the current state of the science of ammonia in the atmosphere. Specifically, the international workshop was a joint effort between several bodies of the Convention: the Ammonia Expert Group, the Working Group on Effects and the Task Force on Measurement and Modelling, together with the COST 729 and the NitroEurope Integrated Project. This book reports the underpinning information in the form of several major reviews, combined with supporting chapters on recent research results, to provide an up-to-date scientific synthesis in relation to four key themes:

  1. Re-evaluation of the critical thresholds for ammonia effects on sensitive plants and habitats
  2. Review of approaches for downscaling transboundary assessments to deal with ammonia hotspots in relation to operational modelling and monitoring
  3. Review of regional scale atmospheric transport and chemistry models in relation to their formulation and results for ammonia.

Each of these themes is of fundamental to the quantification of ammonia impacts in the environment and the assessment of possible abatement measures. The reviews highlight how the critical threshold for ammonia concentrations – the "critical level" – has been overestimated in the past, and the book explains the new estimates. Monitoring of atmospheric concentrations and deposition is the only independent way to verify the success of emission abatement policies. The analysis shows how it has been a major challenge to verify the reported reductions in emissions, but that several new datasets now support expected trends in emission reduction, even though total emissions may still be underestimated. Atmospheric models are central to the assessment at both regional and landscape scales. The dynamics within ‘ammonia hotspots’ are particularly important to understand both the fate of ammonia export from source regions and to assess the local environmental impacts. Similarly, modeling at regional scales forms the basis for transboundary assessment of ammonia emissions and deposition. At both scales, the present assessment shows that quantification of ammonia dry deposition remains a key uncertainty. Cross-cutting analyses in the review addressed the reliability of ammonia emissions data and abatement efficiencies, as well as the agricultural and environmental policy context, considering how scientific understanding can help address the challenges to reduce the adverse effects of ammonia in the environment.

This book will be valuable to all those interested in the behaviour of ammonia in the environment, as it explains the current state of knowledge, reports new critical level values, and describes the main scientific uncertainties.

About the authors

Mark Sutton

Is a specialist in the behaviour of ammonia in the atmosphere, based at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh. He is the coordinator of the NitroEurope Integrated Project, chairman of the European Centre of the International Nitrogen Initiative and co-chair of the UNECE Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen.

Stefan Reis

Is an expert on emissions of atmospheric pollutants and integrated assessment modelling. Formerly of the Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, he is now the Scientific Project Manager of the NitroEurope Integrated Project.

Samantha Baker

Is a scientific policy analyst at the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), with extensive experience of transboundary air pollution issues. She and a member of the Natural Resource and Rural Affairs (NRRA) Science Division at Defra and co-chairs the Projections Panel of the UNECE Task Force on Emission Inventories and Projections.

Table of contents (28 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Sutton, Mark A.

    Pages 1-11

  • Reassessment of Critical Levels for Atmospheric Ammonia

    Cape, J. Neil (et al.)

    Pages 15-40

  • Potential for the Further Development and Application of Critical Levels to Assess the Environmental Impacts of Ammonia

    Sutton, Mark A. (et al.)

    Pages 41-48

  • Long-Term Cumulative Exposure Exacerbates the Effects of Atmospheric Ammonia on an Ombrotrophic Bog: Implications for Critical Levels

    Sheppard, Lucy J. (et al.)

    Pages 49-58

  • The Application of Transects to Assess the Effects of Ammonia on Woodland Groundflora

    Pitcairn, Carole E.R. (et al.)

    Pages 59-69

Buy this book

eBook $189.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-9121-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $249.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-9120-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $249.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-8953-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Atmospheric Ammonia
Book Subtitle
Detecting emission changes and environmental impacts. Results of an Expert Workshop under the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
Editors
  • Mark Sutton
  • Stefan Reis
  • Samantha Baker
Copyright
2009
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-9121-6
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-9121-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-9120-9
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-8953-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIII, 464
Topics