Understanding urban to regional emissions of N2O and CH4 within the Netherlands

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Understanding and reducing the emissions of N2O and CH4 are crucial for mitigating climate change. The bottom-up and top-down estimates of N2O and CH4 do not agree on multi-spatial scales and are very uncertain due to temporospatial variations in the emissions. This thesis investigates the Dutch emissions of N2O and CH4 from urban to regional scales. First, an aircraft-based AirCore system is developed and employed for high-precision atmospheric measurements of N2O and CH4 over the three urban areas of Groningen, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. The N2O emissions estimated by a mass balance approach are about three times the Dutch inventory for Rotterdam, while the CH4 emission estimates are not significantly different from the inventory. Second, the bottom-up inventory is revised based on mobile van measurements and compared with top-down estimates for the entire area of Rotterdam (including the Maasvlaktes). The N2O and CH4 emissions from wastewater treatment plants and the source category "traffic and transportation" are underestimated in the inventory. Third, in the research area, which extends to a mixed agriculture-urban region, the N2O and CH4 fluxes estimated using micrometeorological methods show distinct seasonal variations, with relatively high values from March to September. These variations are most likely dominated by agricultural activities. Furthermore, the regional emissions of N2O and CH4 are both overestimated in the EDGARv6.0 inventory. In summary, this Ph.D. research provides insights into the emissions of N2O and CH4 in the Netherlands and highlights the importance and usefulness of high-precision atmospheric measurements for constraining emissions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Chen, Huilin, Supervisor
  • Meijer, Harro, Supervisor
Award date29-Apr-2024
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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