The atmospheric source

The atmosphere acts as a source for N2O through the oxidation of ammonia (NH3). In total, atmospheric NH3 oxidation is thought to be responsible for ~0.6 Tg N2O/year. Again the line between natural and anthropogenic sources is blurred. The primary sources of atmospheric NH3 are human-made, with the largest increases in emissions in recent decades being due to increased global livestock farming. Ammonia is emitted from both solid and liquid livestock waste through volatilization and can also induce N2O production in soils by deposition after its initial release. Plumes of ammonia can often be detected arising from intensive livestock-rearing facilities, such as poultry and pig farms. Fertilizer application and agricultural chemical use are also significant sources of atmospheric ammonia, as is fossil fuel-powered transport.

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