Assessment and characterisation of the organic component of atmospheric nitrogen deposition    

Author(s): Cornell, S.E.
In: Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity
Year: 2014
Type: Book chapter
Theme affiliation: Patterns of the Anthropocene
Link to centre authors: Cornell, Sarah
Full reference: Cornell S.E. 2014. Assessment and characterisation of the organic component of atmospheric nitrogen deposition. In: Nitrogen Deposition, Critical Loads and Biodiversity, M.A. Sutton, K.E. Mason, L.J. Sheppard, H. Sverdrup, R. Haeuber, W.K. Hicks (eds.) Springer, 107-116

Summary

The organic component of atmospheric reactive nitrogen is known to be important for biogeochemical cycles, climate and ecosystems, but it is still not routinely assessed in atmospheric deposition studies, and most worldwide air quality monitoring networks disregard it.

The available jigsaw puzzle pieces of knowledge from diverse sources can now give a richer picture of global patterns of organic nitrogen deposition. This effort at data synthesis highlights the need for more data, but also suggests where those data gathering efforts should be focused. The development of new analytical techniques allows long-standing conjectures about the nature and sources of the organic matter to be investigated, with tantalising indications of the complex interplay between natural and anthropogenic sources, and links between the nitrogen and carbon cycles.

Atmospheric emission and deposition models are needed, along with new chemical process models, to let us explore questions about the role and dynamics of organic nitrogen.

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