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Author Topic: Trends in Atmospheric N2O  (Read 738 times)

Stephan

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Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« on: October 03, 2019, 03:46:44 PM »
NOAA has opened a new site within its website https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends_n2o/

It shows the actual [delayed by four months] concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) and it seems to be updated once a month (like the trends in CH4 site)
May 2019:     331.7 ppb
May 2018:     330.7 ppb
Last updated: September 18, 2019
____________
The website also includes the annual averages and the annual increase rates:
The annual increase rate May 2019 of 1.0 ppb is slightly below the 2018 average increase (1.17 ppb).
The average increase rate of 2001-2009 was 0.74 ppb.
The average increase rate of 2010-2018 was 0.98 ppb.
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2019, 06:21:26 PM »
After having downloaded and processed the data I show you the measured values and the 12-month running mean (upper picture) and the derivative of the 12-month running mean (expressed as increase rate, lower picture). Interestingly the increase rate seems to change in waves with a frequency of several years. I have no clue where this behaviour comes from. Does anyone have a clue?
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kassy

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2019, 07:10:16 PM »
Interesting.

And no clue about the pattern but maybe we just don´t have enough years?

Nearly two third is natural but i don´t think we have a good list of relative contributions.

Most of the N2O emitted into the atmosphere, from natural and anthropogenic sources, is produced by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi in soils and oceans.[97] Soils under natural vegetation are an important source of nitrous oxide, accounting for 60% of all naturally produced emissions. Other natural sources include the oceans (35%) and atmospheric chemical reactions (5%)

I think it will be quite a bit of work to explain the pattern (if it is real).

And the simple explanation might be ongoing warming promoting more emissions from soil and oceans over time while longer term patterns like ENSO and many others messing up the graph. 


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Stephan

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 10:34:52 PM »
The average value for June 2019 is available now:
June 2019:     331.8 ppb
June 2018:     330.7 ppb
Last updated: October 05, 2019
Annual increase a tiny bit higher than in May...

N2O has a 298-fold effect as GHG than CO2. The the June 2019 CO2 equivalent of 332 ppb N2O is 99 ppm, around a quarter of the CO2 effect and therefore not negligible.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 10:41:31 PM by Stephan »
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 09:15:39 PM »
The July averages are available:
July 2019:     331.9 ppb
July 2018:     330.7 ppb
Last updated: November 05, 2019
Annual increase of 1.2 ppb is a tiny bit higher than in June...
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kassy

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 07:14:41 PM »
Amazing what you can do with actual measurements.  :o

Nitrogen fertilizers are incredibly efficient, but they make climate change a lot worse

...

Conventional analysis of N2O emissions from human activities are estimated from various indirect sources. This include country-by-country reporting, global nitrogen fertilizer production, the areal extent of nitrogen-fixing crops and the use of manure fertilizers.

Our study instead used actual atmospheric concentrations of N2O from dozens of monitoring stations all over the world. We then used atmospheric modeling that explains how air masses move across and between continents to infer the expected emissions of specific regions.

We found global N2O emissions have increased over the past two decades and the fastest growth has been since 2009. China and Brazil are two countries that stand out. This is associated with a spectacular increase in the use of nitrogen fertilizers and the expansion of nitrogen-fixing crops such as soybean.

We also found the emissions reported for those two countries, based on a methodology developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are significantly lower than those inferred from N2O levels in the atmosphere over those regions.

This mismatch seems to arise from the fact that emissions in those regions are proportionally higher than the use of nitrogen fertilizers and manure. This is a departure from the linear relationship used to report emissions by most countries.

There appears to be a level of nitrogen past which plants can no longer effectively use it. Once that threshold is passed in croplands, N2O emissions grow exponentially.

...

all future emission scenarios consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement require N2O emissions to stop growing and, in most cases, to decline—between 10% and 30% by mid-century.

Interestingly, emissions from the U.S. and Europe have not grown for over two decades, yet crop yields across these regions increased or remained steady.

https://phys.org/news/2019-11-nitrogen-fertilizers-incredibly-efficient-climate.html
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Stephan

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Re: Trends in Atmospheric N2O
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2019, 08:38:57 PM »
As for CO2 and CH4 also the N2O concentration information was updated:

August 2019:     331.9 ppb
August 2018:     330.9 ppb
Last updated: December 05, 2019

This is an annual increase of 1.0 ppb, roughly the same value as in the last months.
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