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Using satellite and sub-orbit observations to improve boundary layer ammonia and PM2.5 mixing ratios associated with agricultural emission and its effects on climate and air quality

Principal Investigator:  Dr. Viney P. Aneja

Co-Principal Investigators:
Dr. Daniel Tong, NOAA/GMU
Dr. Jennifer Wei, Adnet Systems
Dr. Pius Lee, NOAA
Dr. Hang Lei, NOAA
Dr. Huisheng Bian, NASA/JCET
Dr. Juying Warner, UMCP

Ph. D. Student:
Mr. William Battye

M.S. Student:
Ms. Casey Bray

Executive Summary
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are prominent sources of ammonia (NH3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions and thus have a significant impact on air quality, human health, and climate.  However, there are considerable uncertainties associated with NH3 and PM2.5 emissions from agriculture dominated regions, limiting our predictive capability to use atmospheric models to assess the impacts of agricultural activities on air quality and climate. Moreover, it remains elusive how atmospheric NH3 is changing and how such a change will affect air quality from local to regional scale.
Proposed solution. We propose a 3-year multi-institutional integrated atmospheric composition and air quality project to utilize NASA Earth Science observations (satellite, sub-orbital and ground) to support air quality modeling and analysis of NH3 and PM2.5 change associated with intensive agriculture.
The primary objective of this study is to address three science questions: 1) How are agricultural emissions changing in the past decade? 2) How well can the 3-D chemical transport models be used to study the emissions, transformation and removal of NH3 and PM2.5 over agriculture-dominated regions? 3) How can NASA Earth observations be utilized to improve agricultural emissions, constraint model processes, and verify model prediction? To this end, we propose the following activities to be conducted by a team of emission scientists, Earth scientists and air quality modelers:

  1. NASA data to constrain agricultural emissions: Apply NASA Earth observations and other datasets to improve agricultural NH3 and PM2.5 emissions using an inverse modeling approach similar to Gilliland et al. (2006). We will develop and test the proposed method to achieve this goal by conducting a rigorous analysis over eastern North Carolina, a region of intensive animal and crop agricultural operations, and then extend the study to Texas (beef cattle operations), the Mid-Atlantic, and the California Central Valley (dairy and beef cattle).
  2. NASA data to examine the change in agricultural NH3: We propose to utilize the multi-year satellite observations of NH3 column density retrieved from AIRS-Aura to investigate the long-term change in NH3 composition in the atmosphere, and apply the temporal trend to adjust NH3 emission inventory to support air quality modeling.
  3. Air quality prediction and analysis: We will integrate the new NH3 emission data into the NASA GMI modeling system and the NOAA CMAQ model to study the effect of agricultural emissions on air quality. We are also interested in utilizing these models to understand how the change in NH3 emissions will affect regional and global air quality; and climate forcing.
  4. NASA data to verify model simulations: a suite of Earth Science data will be used to verify model results. These results will be compared and contrasted with existing NH3 and PM2.5 data collected from DISCOVER-AQ, AMoN, IMPROVE, and North Carolina Division of Air Quality networks.

 

A National Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality, Principal Investigator and Project Scientist - Viney P. Aneja; January 1, 2005 - December 31, 2009 ($394,868)



A 3 –year multi- institutional program to organize a National Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality in collaboration with the Ecological Society of America during FY 2006 in and around Washington DC. The project team is multidisciplinary. It comprises of air quality, agricultural, and environmental scientists. The workshop has the express purpose to create a document that will be used to improve agricultural air quality emission inventories for air pollutants, to recommend changes and improvements in measurement technologies and monitoring methodologies, modeling and transport of odor and air pollutants and recommend best production practices to mitigate air pollutant emissions. Agricultural Air Quality is an important and emerging research topical area with significant multidisciplinary components. Agriculture, forest, and range production practices have increasingly become subject to state and federal regulations that are meant to protect air resources. In many instances, data do not exist or are not representative of agricultural industries for the purpose of estimating emissions to the atmosphere of regulated pollutants or of public nuisances such as odors and fugitive dust.

The workshop will bring together experts from diverse fields related to the multidisciplinary problem of agricultural air quality and develop a synthesis of ideas, technologies, and research and policy relevant data and information. This will be achieved via invited sessions, round table meetings, and peer – reviewed research and review papers.A dedicated issue of an international journal (such as Atmospheric Environment; International Journal of Environmental Pollution; Journal of Environmental Quality; International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology; Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association; Transactions of American Society of Agricultural Engineering). In addition, we will attempt to publish the workshop synthesis and assessment of agricultural air quality in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The summary findings and recommendations from the workshop will be disseminated through Congressional briefings, and to policy makers, agribusinesses, regulators, and concerned citizens through a series of invited and peer presentations, round table panel discussions, fact sheets, news articles, and links to web sites. The project team will work directly with the state and federal agencies such as USDA, US EPA, and North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) that implement regulations to protect air quality. Courses and short courses on agricultural air quality (atmospheric nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and particulate matter) will be based on the findings of the workshop. These courses/short courses will be offered to the stakeholder community, and students as part of the project.

 

 

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