Ammonia Emissions

In 2011, ammonia (NH3) emissions increased by 38 kilotonnes (kt) to 501 kt, an 8% increase from 2010 emissions levels. The change in emission levels through time is explained primarily by variations in the growth of the agricultural sector and in fertilizer use and by an emissions estimation methodological change that was introduced in 2006.

Ammonia emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2011

Ammonia emissions, Canada, 1990 to 2011

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Emissions from open sources from agricultural activity are included in the indicator. All other natural sources (e.g., forest fires) and open sources (e.g., prescribed burning) are not included. Ammonia emissions after 2005 for agriculture (livestock) used a different estimation methodology than did previous years. This new methodology is based on the work done by the National Agri-Environmental Standards Initiative (NAESI). For more information please consult the Data Sources and Methods.
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Sources of ammonia emissions

In 2011, agricultural activity accounted for 91% (458 kt) of the total ammonia (NH3) emissions in Canada (national emissions = 501 kt). Transportation (road, rail, air and marine) emissions represented 5% (23 kt) of national emissions, followed by industrial sources, representing 3% (14 kt) of national emissions. The remaining sources contributed 1% of national emissions.

Ammonia emissions by source, Canada, 2011

Ammonia emissions by source, Canada, 2011

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Emissions from open sources from agricultural activity are included in the indicator. All other natural sources (e.g., forest fires) and open sources (e.g., prescribed burning) are not included.
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Ammonia emissions by province and territory

Alberta contributed most to Canada’s ammonia (NH3) emissions in 2011, with 26% (131 kt) of the national total (national emissions = 501 kt). Ontario ranked second, with 22% (111 kt). Quebec and Saskatchewan emitted the next-highest proportions, with 17% and 16% (86 and 82 kt, respectively). For all provinces, livestock farms and the application of fertilizers were the most important sources of NH3 emissions.

Ammonia emissions by province and territory, Canada, 2011

Ammonia emissions by province and territory, Canada, 2011

View data for this chart
How this indicator was calculated

Note: Emissions from open sources from agricultural activity are included in the indicator. All other natural sources (e.g., forest fires) and open sources (e.g., prescribed burning) are not included.
Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Air Pollutant Emissions Summaries and Trends.

Ammonia emissions from industrial facilities

Environment Canada’s National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) provides detailed information on air pollutant emissions from industrial facilities. The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program provides access to this information through an online interactive map.

With the CESI interactive map, you can drill down to local areas and obtain details on NH3 emissions specific to reporting industrial facilities.

Source: Environment Canada (2013) National Pollutant Release Inventory: Facility Reported Data.

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