The scientific support of negotiations on emission reductions under the framework of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution of the UN Economic Commission for Europe has been based during the last decade on the integrated assessment of sources, including abatement costs, and risks to receptors (e.g. forests, lakes) quantified by critical loads. The shift from a single-pollutant (sulfur) protocol in 1994 to a multi-pollutant protocol in 1999 necessitated an extension of the methods by which critical loads were computed and mapped. Instead of a single critical load for acidification, methods were now developed to assess the risk of acidifying effects of both sulfur and nitrogen deposition as well as the eutrophying effects of nitrogen on sensitive elements of the environment. Collaboration with a scientific network of 24 national institutions ensured a successful implementation of the proposed methodology across countries. This paper summarizes the methodology, describes the latest input data and presents critical load maps on the basis of which about 98% and 78% of European ecosystems would be protected against acidification and eutrophication, respectively, by the year 2010 according to the multi-pollutant multi-effect protocol.
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- Multi-Effect Critical Loads Used in Multi-Pollutant Reduction Agreements in Europe
P. A. M. De Smet
- Springer Netherlands