Nevin Manimala Statistics

Integrated Modeling of U.S. Agricultural Soil Emissions of Reactive Nitrogen and Associated Impacts on Air Pollution, Health, and Climate

Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Jun 17. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.1c08660. Online ahead of print.


Agricultural soils are leading sources of reactive nitrogen (Nr) species including nitrogen oxides (NOx), ammonia (NH3), and nitrous oxide (N2O). The propensity of NOx and NH3 to generate ozone and fine particulate matter and associated impacts on health are highly variable, whereas the climate impacts of long-lived N2O are independent of emission timing and location. However, these impacts have rarely been compared on a spatially resolved monetized basis. In this study, we update the nitrogen scheme in an agroecosystem model to simulate the Nr emissions from fertilized soils across the contiguous United States. We then apply a reduced-form air pollution health effect model to assess air quality impacts from NOx and NH3 and a social cost of N2O to assess the climate impacts. Assuming an $8.2 million value of a statistical life and a $13,100/ton social cost of N2O, the air quality impacts are a factor of ∼7 to 15 times as large as the climate impacts in heavily populated coastal regions, whereas the ratios are closer to 2.5 in sparsely populated regions. Our results show that air pollution, health, and climate should be considered jointly in future assessments of how farming practices affect Nr emissions.

PMID:35712939 | DOI:10.1021/acs.est.1c08660

By Nevin Manimala

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