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Detection of NH3 emissions in the Canadian Arctic from the 2014 Northwest Territories Fires

Ammonia (NH 3 ) is an important component of reactive nitrogen in the atmosphere and is a precursor for the formation of aerosols which may affect air quality and climate. NH 3 is mainly produced by agriculture while biomass burning is also known to be a considerable source. The short atmospheric lifetime of NH 3 , typically under 24 hrs, makes long range transport of these emissions to the Arctic unlikely.
In this talk, I will present the use of solar-absorption Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy at Eureka, Nunavut and Toronto, Ontario to measure NH 3 concentrations and quantify emissions from biomass burning. During July and August 2014, enhancements of NH 3 were detected at both sites in addition to simultaneous enhancements of the long-lived species CO, HCN and C 2 H 6 . These enhancements were attributed to fires near Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories by the FLEXPART dispersion model and MODIS Fire Hotspots. Emissions ratios were derived for NH 3 , HCN, C 2 H 6 which were found to generally be in good agreement between sites and previous literature values determined by ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms. Comparison of NH 3 emission ratios for Eureka and Toronto allowed for an estimated NH 3 lifetime of 48 hr to be determined. It was found that biomass burning emissions of NH 3 may undergo long range transport and be a significant source to the summertime Arctic.