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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1026
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1026
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 20 Dec 2019

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Why the Indo-Gangetic Plain is the region with the largest NH3 column in the globe during summertime?

Tiantian Wang1, Yu Song1, Zhenying Xu1, Mingxu Liu1, Tingting Xu1,2, Wenling Liao1, Lifei Yin1, Xuhui Cai1, Ling Kang1, Hongsheng Zhang3, and Tong Zhu1,4 Tiantian Wang et al.
  • 1State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Department of Environmental Science, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 2Environmental College, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
  • 3Laboratory for Climate and Ocean-Atmosphere Studies, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 4Beijing Innovation Center for Engineering Science and Advance Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

Abstract. Satellite observations show a global maximum in ammonia (NH3) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), with a peak in summer. However, it has never been explained explicitly. In this study, we investigated the causes of high NH3 loading over the IGP in summer using WRF-Chem (Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled to chemistry). IGP has relatively high NH3 emission fluxes (0.4 t km−2 month−1) due to intensive agricultural activities and high air temperature in summer. Additionally, low sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and high air temperature limit the gas-to-particle conversion of NH3, particularly for ammonium nitrate formation. Moreover, the barrier effects of the Himalayas in combination with the surface convergence weaken the horizontal diffusion of NH3. The high NH3 loading over the IGP mainly results from the low gas-to-particle partitioning of NH3 caused by low SO2 and NOx emissions. It contrasts to those in the North China Plain, where high SO2 and NOx emissions promote the conversion of gaseous NH3 into particulate ammonium.

Tiantian Wang et al.

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Tiantian Wang et al.

Tiantian Wang et al.

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Short summary
Satellite measurements have revealed that the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) has the global maximum ammonia concentrations, particularly during summer. Here, we studied the reasons for this phenomenon through computer simulations. Low sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions and high air temperature over the IGP weaken the swallow of gaseous ammonia by acidic gases. Additionally, the barrier effects of the Himalayas, like a windshield, are also conducive to the accumulation of ammonia.
Satellite measurements have revealed that the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP) has the global maximum...
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