The GAINS Model for Greenhouse Gases - Version 1.0: Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

Winiwarter, W. ORCID: (2005). The GAINS Model for Greenhouse Gases - Version 1.0: Nitrous Oxide (N2O). IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-05-055

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Many of the traditional air pollutants and greenhouse gases have common sources, offering a cost-effective potential for simultaneous improvements of traditional air pollution problems and climate change. A methodology has been developed to extend the RAINS integrated assessment model to explore synergies and trade-offs between the control of greenhouse gases and air pollution. With this extension, the GAINS (GHG-Air pollution INteraction and Synergies) model will allow the assessment of emission control costs for the six greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O and the three F-gases) together with the emissions of air pollutants SO2, NOx, VOC, NH3 and PM. This report describes the first implementation (Version 1.0) of the model extension model to incorporate N2O emissions.

GAINS Version 1.0 assesses the options for reducing N2O emissions emissions from the various source categories. It quantifies for 43 countries/regions in Europe country-specific application potentials of the various options in the different sectors of the economy, and estimates the societal resource costs of these measures. Mitigation potentials are estimated in relation to an exogenous baseline projection that is considered to reflect current planning.

In Europe, emissions from soils are generally considered the most important source of N2O, followed by industrial process emissions. Formation of nitrous oxide in soil is triggered by the availability of nitrogen. A number of emission controls directed at other pollutants (e.g., NOx or CH4) have positive or negative impacts on N2O emissions. Some of the earlier projections of N2O emissions have not taken full account of these interactions. Recent information on technological changes (e.g., for some technological processes) indicates a significant decline in N2O emissions in the past years, especially from adipic and nitric acid production.

Catalytic reduction of N2O from industrial processes (adipic and nitric acid production), optimizing sewage treatment, modifications in fluidized bed combustion, and reduction of fertilizer application in agriculture can reduce N2O at moderate costs. Current legislation in EU countries addresses only some of these measures, which leaves an additional potential for further mitigation. However, the remaining mitigation potential is associated with high or even excessive costs. N2O emissions from non-agricultural soils induced from the atmospheric deposition of NOx and NH3, though of clearly anthropogenic origin, have not been counted as anthropogenic emissions by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) methodology. However, the inclusion of such emissions to obtain full coverage of man-made N2O flows would not strongly alter N2O emissions from European countries.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Transboundary Air Pollution (TAP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:18
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:19

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