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Estimated global nitrogen deposition using NO2 column density

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Global nitrogen deposition has increased over the past 100 years. Monitoring and simulation studies of  nitrogen deposition have evaluated nitrogen deposition at both the global and regional scale. With the development of remote-sensing instruments, tropospheric NO2 column density retrieved from Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) and Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) sensors now provides us with a new opportunity to understand changes in reactive nitrogen in the atmosphere. The concentration of NO2 in the atmosphere has a significant effect on atmospheric nitrogen deposition. According to the general nitrogen deposition calculation method, we use the principal component regression method to evaluate global nitrogen deposition based on global NO2 column density and meteorological data. From the accuracy of the simulation, about 70% of the land area of the Earth passed a significance test of regression. In addition, NO2 column density has a significant influence on regression results over 44% of global land. The simulated results show that global average nitrogen deposition was 0.34 g m−2 yr−1 from 1996 to 2009 and is increasing at about 1% per year. Our simulated results show that China, Europe, and the USA are the three hotspots of nitrogen deposition according to previous research findings. In this study, Southern Asia was found to be another hotspot of nitrogen deposition (about 1.58 g m−2 yr−1 and maintaining a high growth rate). As nitrogen deposition increases, the number of regions threatened by high nitrogen deposits is also increasing. With N emissions continuing to increase in the future, areas whose ecosystem is affected by high level nitrogen deposition will increase.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210093, China 2: Western Geographic Science Center, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA, 94025-3561, USA

Publication date: December 20, 2013

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