Nitrous oxide emissions 1999–2009 from a global atmospheric inversion Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. N2O surface fluxes were estimated for 1999 to 2009 using a time-dependent Bayesian inversion technique. Observations were drawn from 5 different networks, incorporating 59 surface sites and a number of ship-based measurement series. To avoid biases in the inverted fluxes, the data were adjusted to a common scale and scale offsets were included in the optimization problem. The fluxes were calculated at the same resolution as the transport model (3.75° longitude × 2.5° latitude) and at monthly time resolution. Over the 11 yr period, the global total N2O source varied from 17.5 to 20.1 Tg a−1 N. Tropical and subtropical land regions were found to consistently have the highest N2O emissions, in particular, in South Asia (20% of global total), South America (13%) and Africa (19%), while emissions from temperate regions were smaller, Europe (6%) and North America (7%). A significant multi-annual trend in N2O emissions (0.045 Tg a−2 N) from South Asia was found and confirms inventory estimates of this trend. Considerable inter-annual variability in the global N2O source was observed (0.8 Tg a−1 N, 1 standard deviation, SD) and was largely driven by variability in tropical and subtropical soil fluxes, in particular in South America (0.3 Tg a−1 N, 1 SD) and to a lesser extent in Africa (0.3 Tg a−1 N, 1 SD). Notable variability was also found for N2O fluxes in the tropical and southern oceans (0.15 and 0.2 Tg a−1 N, 1 SD, respectively). Inter-annual variability in the N2O source correlates strongly with ENSO, where El Niño conditions are associated with lower N2O fluxes from soils and from the ocean and vice-versa for La Niña conditions.;

publication date

  • June 13, 2013

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Date in CU Experts

  • June 15, 2021 10:58 AM

Full Author List

  • Thompson RL; Chevallier F; Crotwell AM; Dutton G; Langenfelds RL; Prinn RG; Weiss RF; Tohjima Y; Nakazawa T; Krummel PB

author count

  • 14

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