We present a parameterization developed to simulate Ammonium particle (NH4+) concentrations in the Operational Priority Substances (OPS) source-receptor model, without the necessity of using a detailed chemical scheme. By using the ratios of the main pre-cursor gases SO2, NO2 and NH3, and utilising calculations performed using a chemical box-model, we show that the parameterization can simulate annual mean NH4+ concentration fields to within ~15% of measured values at locations throughout the Netherlands. Performing simulations for different decades, we find a strong correlation of simulated NH4+ distributions for both past (1993-1995) and present (2009-2012) time periods. Although the total concentration of NH4+ has decreased over the period, we find that the fraction of NH4+ transported into the Netherlands has increased from around 40% in the past to 50% for present-day. This is due to the variable efficiency of mitigation practises across economic sectors. Performing simulations for the year 2020 using associated emission estimates, we show that there are generally decreases of ~8-25% compared to present day concentrations. By altering the meteorological fields applied in the future simulations, we show that a significant uncertainty of between ~50 and 100% exists on this estimated NH4+ distribution as a result of variability in the temperature dependent emission terms and relative humidity. Therefore, any projections of future NH4+ distributions should be performed using well chosen meteorological fields representing recent meteorological situations.
JE Williams, E van der Swaluw, WJ de Vries, FJ Sauter, A van Pul, R Hoogerbrugge. Modelling the future distribution of ammonium nitrate concentrations in The Netherlands for 2020: The sensitivity to meteorological parameters
published, Atmos. Environm., 2015, 115