Fingerprinting Reactive Nitrogen Sources and Chemistry

Friday, December 1, 2017
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
McConnell Hall, Rm 220
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Lynne Cooper
603 862-2227
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Dr. Meredith K. Hastings, Associate Professor, Environment and Society, and Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Brown University

Reactive nitrogen (including nitrogen oxides, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, and organic nitrates) serve major roles in controlling the composition of our atmosphere, and have a
direct impact on ecosystem health and water quality.  Stable isotopes provide an exciting tool to probe variations in sources, chemistry, atmospheric transport, and deposition of reactive N. The aim is to fingerprint distinct emission sources - such as vehicles, power plants, aircraft, agriculture, wildfires, and lightning - and track their influence in the environment. A major challenge in this is development of appropriate methods for the capture of reactive nitrogen in different environments, at different timescales, and in different phases (gas, aerosol, rain, etc.). Meredith will discuss recent characterization of the isotopic composition of major reactive N sources in the U.S. Given the current, and expected future increases in, impacts of wildfires in the U.S., this is a particular focus for upcoming campaigns.


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