CNRS and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) have prepared the first global distribution of the ammonia (NH3) global distribution by analyzing satellite measurements between 2008 and 2016. The IASI interferometric developed by CNES gave them a catalog. More than 200 ammonia sources, of which two have never been identified with two. These sources are basically livestock production intensive and industrial activity. Groups discoveries are published Nature (December 5).
Over the last twelve years, IASI interferometer has been on three satellites with scientists providing global data on different atmospheric constituents, including ammonia. Ammonia's atmosphere deserves special attention due to the emission of particular ammonium salts that harm the air quality we breathe. However, processes that regulate gas concentrations are still misunderstood, especially on the local scale.
During the period of ten years, the ammonium levels contained in the interferometers were created, a general map of the atmospheric distribution of ammonia was created, whose resolution is a square kilometer order. By combining satellite imagery with the map, NH3 discovered and classified 241-point sources of anthropogenic emissions with 83 intensive livestock production and 158 industrial activities, as well as 178 broader broadcasts.
In addition to registering new sources not found in current emission inventories, the research has shown that the emissions of the first identified sources have been greatly underestimated. Over the course of time, changes have been made to the development of activities related to human activity, such as the construction of industrial complexes or the extinction of intensive livestock infrastructures.
These findings suggest that better management of ammonia-contamination impact requires the revision of ammonia emissions, much higher than the inventories suggested today.