A new study supported by AC4 investigates nitrogen cycling between air, plants, and soil, finding variability in cycling rates that is not currently represented in atmospheric chemical transport models.
Nitrogen reacts with oxygen and other chemical compounds to form atmospheric oxides, which significantly impact the chemical composition of our atmosphere, human and environmental health, and broader climate processes. These gases can be produced by a range of natural and anthropogenic sources including fossil fuel combustion and wildfires. The atmospheric chemistry research community has developed new methods to track the emission sources of these gases and their key chemical reactions by analyzing the stable isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen in the gas compounds. However, there is a lack of a well-established method to simultaneously differentiate and quantify the concentration and isotopic composition of multiple groups of nitrogen oxides.