Seasonal variations in N2O emissions from central California

Publication Type

Journal Article




We estimate nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from Central California for the period of December 2007 through November 2009 by comparing N2O mixing ratios measured at a tall tower (Walnut Grove, WGC) with transport model predictions based on two global a priori N2O emission models (EDGAR32 and EDGAR42). Atmospheric particle trajectories and surface footprints are computed using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) models. Regression analyses show that the slopes of predicted on measured N2O from both emission models are low, suggesting that actual N2O emissions are significantly higher than the EDGAR inventories for all seasons. Bayesian inverse analyses of regional N2O emissions show that posterior annual N2O emissions are larger than both EDGAR inventories by factors of 2.0 ± 0.4 (EDGAR32) and 2.1 ± 0.4 (EDGAR42) with seasonal variation ranging from 1.6 ± 0.3 to 2.5 ± 0.4 for an influence region of Central California within approximately 150 km of the tower. These results suggest that if the spatial distribution of N2O emissions in California follows the EDGAR emission models, then actual emissions are 2.7 ± 0.5 times greater than the current California emission inventory, and total N2O emissions account for 8.1 ± 1.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions from California.


Geophysical Research Letters



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