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AGU journal highlights -- March 25, 2009
Date:3/25/2009

in the atmosphere, which are produced by lightning, biomass burning, and soil outgassing, are converted into atmospheric nitrate through oxidation reactions. Nitrogen oxide, itself a pollutant, controls the production of ozone, which in turn is a greenhouse gas and a pollutant at ground levels. Atmospheric nitrate contributes to the load of atmospheric particulate matter and, along with sulfate, to acid rain. Despite efforts to regulate and monitor emissions, nitrogen oxide and atmospheric nitrate burdens in the atmosphere are increasing in many regions. To learn more, Morin et al. study the stable isotopic composition of nitrate within aerosol samples, collected along a shipborne transect, in the lower atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean from 65 degrees South to 79 degrees North. They find that in nonpolar regions, nitrate derived from anthropogenically emitted nitrogen oxide had isotopic properties distinct from locations influenced by natural nitrogen oxide sources. Further, air masses exposed to snow-covered areas have low nitrogen isotopic ratios, showing that snowpack emissions of nitrogen oxide from upwind regions can have a significant effect on the local surface budget of reactive nitrogen.

Title: Comprehensive isotopic composition of atmospheric nitrate in the Atlantic Ocean boundary layer form 65 degrees South to 79 degrees North

Authors: S. Morin, J. Savarino, and F. Domine: Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, CNRS, Grenoble, France; also at Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Gophysique de l'Environnement, Universit Josef Fourier, Grenoble, France;

M. M. Frey: Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, CNRS, Grenoble, France; also at Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Gophysique de l'Environnement, Universit Josef Fourier, Grenoble, France; now at British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge, U.K.;

H.-W. Jacobi: Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, CNRS, Grenoble, France; also at
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Contact: Maria-Jose Vinas
mjvinas@agu.org
202-777-7530
American Geophysical Union
Source:Eurekalert

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