Emissions of ammonia to air from the agricultural sector have large negative societal impacts. Ammonia contributes to eutrophication and acidification of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. Despite its central role in many environmental threats, the uncertainty in agricultural ammonia emissions is large. Recently, the need of temporal explicit emission information was highlighted as the fate of air pollutants after emission is highly dependent on concurring meteorological conditions. We aim to improve the quantification of agricultural ammonia emissions at European scale using earth observation data. Remote sensed data will be used to increase insight in the temporal dynamics of agricultural practices and emissions over the year by adding spatial and temporal resolution, not available through statistical agencies. The data from various satellites provide important variables, such as crop distributions, biomass density, soil moisture, snow cover and surface temperature. The satellites provide direct global observations, as opposed to point measurements. The inherent spatial variability of the observed variables will be reflected in the derived emission distributions. The atmospheric ammonia budget will be modelled using LOTOS-EUROS. We aim to verify the novel emission product using ammonia column data from IASI and CrIS as well as in-situ observations. Finally, we aim to invert ammonia emission strengths from the IASI data with LOTOS-EUROS. The contribution of the agricultural sector to nitrogen deposition in Europe will thus be quantified, being a crucial product in view of biodiversity impacts.
We provide a disciplinary and multidisciplinary research programme aimed at advanced understanding of environmental problems and advanced training of PhD candidates in this field.