Document Detail

Tropospheric sources of NOx: lightning and biology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11540827     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
Laboratory experiments to quantify the global production of NOx (NO + NO2) in the troposphere due to atmospheric lightning and biogenic activity in soil are presented. These laboratory experiments, as well as other studies, suggest that the global production of NOx by lightning probably ranges between 2 and 20 MT(N)y-1 of NO and is strongly dependent on the total energy deposited by lightning, a quantity not well-known. In our laboratory experiments, nitrifying micro-organisms is soil were found to be a significant source of both NO and nitrous oxide (N2O). The measured production ratio of NO to N2O averaged 2-3 for oxygen partial pressures of 0.5-10%. Extrapolating these laboratory measurements to the global scale, which is somewhat risky, suggests that nitrifying micro-organisms in soil may account for as much as 10 MT(N) y-1 of NO. Additional experiments with denitrifying micro-organisms gave an NO to N2O production ratio ranging from 2 to 4 for an oxygen partial pressure of 0.5% and a ratio of less than unity for oxygen partial pressures ranging from 1 to 20%. The production of NO and N2O, normalized with respect to micro-organism number indicates that the production of both NO and N2O by denitrifying micro-organisms is at least an order of magnitude less than production by nitrifying micro-organisms for the micro-organisms studied.
J S Levine; T R Augustsson; I C Anderson; J M Hoell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Atmospheric environment     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0004-6981     ISO Abbreviation:  Atmos. Environ.     Publication Date:  1984  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-08-28     Completed Date:  1998-08-28     Revised Date:  2001-09-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0100776     Medline TA:  Atmos Environ     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1797-804     Citation Subset:  S    
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23665, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Atmosphere / chemistry*
Earth (Planet)
Nitric Oxide / analysis*,  metabolism
Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis*,  metabolism
Nitrogen Fixation
Nitrous Oxide / analysis*,  metabolism
Soil Microbiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
10024-97-2/Nitrous Oxide; 10102-43-9/Nitric Oxide; 10102-44-0/Nitrogen Dioxide

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