David Cameron, Bill Bealey, Cristina Martin Hernandez (UKCEH), Benjamin Loubet (INRAE), William Lassman (Colorado State University)
The harmful effects of ammonia pollution and how tree ‘shelter-belts’ can help
– Over 60% of the UK’s semi-natural habitats exceed threshold limits where damage (species composition changes and reduced biodiversity) is caused by nitrogen.
– Agricultural practices account for over 80% of nitrogen emissions, in the form of ammonia (NH3), within the UK.
– Government guidance (Code of Good Agricultural Practice for Reducing Ammonia Emissions COGAP, Defra 2018) supports farmers to reduce their ammonia emissions including mitigation options like planting tree shelter-belts around livestock housing to ‘scavenge’ ammonia.
– Farmers need tools to help them quantify how options for planting tree shelter-belts will influence their NH3 pollution.
Our aim in MUDMAT
– We aim to improve decision making tools by bringing state-of-the-art statistical methods to quantify the uncertainty of predictions through modelling of tree shelter belts.
– There is an existing web-based decision tool but it needs improving.
– The very simple empirical model used in the web-tool demonstrated proof of concept but is unlikely to give accurate predictions.
– Indeed the accuracy of the predictions from the web-tool are not currently quantified.
– Decisions makers (e.g farmers) cannot use the current tool to make important and potentially costly decisions
– MUDMAT will create an explicit link from the web-tool to a model (MODDAS) which has demonstrated skill in predicting the effect of tree-belts in capturing ammonia (Bealey et al 2014).
– A statistical emulator of OpenFOAM-MODDAS will be created allowing model parameter uncertainty to be quantified, reduced and presented in the web-tool.
Improving the model used in the web-tool and presenting uncertainty in the predictions will aid UK land managers in their decision making in mitigating harmful ammonia emissions from agricultural sources.
|Link to the project page on the UKRI Gateway to Research https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=NE%2FT004185%2F1|