In an agricultural county like China, agricultural fertilizers are the source of ammonia (NH3) emissions. However, the spatial variability in NH3 emissions is large, and the associated uncertainties affect the reliability of total NH3 emission estimates. In this study, an inventory is presented for NH3 emissions from China's agricultural fertilizer application at the city-level, and on a 1×1km grid for croplands in 2010. We present NH3 emissions by source, the temporal and spatial patterns, and the associated uncertainties. The inventory is based on high-resolution activity data, regional emission factors (EFs) and related parameters that are derived from local studies. We compare our emissions estimates with previous inventories from EDGAR and other studies. The total NH3 emissions from China's agricultural fertilizer is 10.7 (8.9-12.3) TgNH3·yr-1. Livestock manure spreading contributes 47.5% to the total emissions, and synthetic fertilizer use by 41.9%. Rural excrement (5.0%) and cake fertilizer (5.5%) are relatively small sources. The spatial pattern of NH3 emissions from China's agricultural fertilizer were primarily concentrated in the North China Plain, the Songliao Plain, the Huaihe River Basin, the Middle-Lower Yangtze Plain, the Pearl River Delta Plain, the Sichuan Basin, the Tarim basin and the Leizhou Peninsula. Approximately 50% of the emissions are from only 76 cities. Our temporal analysis reveals a clear seasonal pattern in NH3 emissions: highest and lowest emissions are calculated for summer and winter, accounting for 42% and 14% of the total emissions, respectively. Peak emissions are calculated for July (1.7 TgNH3·yr-1) and lowest emissions for January (0.5 TgNH3·yr-1). The emissions are correlated with temperature, planting time and cultivation practices.
- Agricultural fertilizer
- Emission inventory
- Spatial and temporal patterns
- Uncertainty analysis