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Centre for Atmospheric Science

NitroEurope Project


NitroEurope (NEU) is a project for integrated European research into the nitrogen cycle. It is part of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, and will run for 5 years from February 2006 until 2011. For main objectives see website.

• establish robust datasets of N fluxes and net greenhouse-gas exchange (NGE) in relation to C-N cycling of representative European ecosystems, as a basis to investigate interactions and assess long-term change,
• quantify the effects of past and present global changes (climate, atmospheric composition, land-use/land-management) on CN cycling and NGE,
• simulate the observed fluxes of N and NGE, their interactions and responses to global change/land-management decisions, through refinement of plot-scale models,
• quantify multiple N and C fluxes for contrasting European landscapes, including interactions between farm-scale management, atmospheric and water dispersion, and consideration of the implications for net fluxes and strategies,
• scale up Nr and NGE fluxes for terrestrial ecosystems to regional and European levels, considering spatial variability and allowing assessment of past, present and future changes,
• assess uncertainties in the European model results and use these together with independent measurement/inverse modelling approaches for verification of European N2O and CH4 inventories and refinement of IPCC approaches.

Our specific role in NEU is in the development of advanced techniques for measuring eddy covariance (EC) fluxes of NH3 and HNO3 as part of component 1 (NEU Flux Networks). This has focussed on the use of the dual QCLAS for this purpose, as it is capable of high time resolution measurements. The results of field experiments imply that the dual QCLAS is suitable for measuring EC fluxes of NH3, but that more work needs to be done to improve on this, particularly for measuring at typical ambient concentrations. Work is also needed to extend this technique to HNO3 measurements.