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Publication Europe's environment — The fourth assessment. Executive summary
Located in Publications
Publication Europe's forests at a glance — a breath of fresh air in a changing climate
Forests do not only provide us food, fibre and medicine, they regulate our climate and improve our quality of life. Human activities and climate change exert increasing pressure on our forest resources and the services they provide. With increasing demand on forests services on the one side, and uncertainty and risks linked to climate change on the other, we need to ensure that forests can continue fulfilling their multifunctional role.
Located in Publications
Article Europe’s air today
Europe has improved its air quality in recent decades. Emissions of many pollutants were curbed successfully, but particulate matter and ozone pollution in particular continue to pose serious risks to the health of Europeans.
Located in Signals — well-being and the environment Signals 2013 Articles
Publication Evaluation of progress under the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive
This report considers whether the EU has successfully addressed environmental and health objectives for 2010, set out when the National Emission Ceilings Directive was adopted in 2001. Certain objectives appear to be met according to the original scientific understanding used to inform the directive. But when using the improved scientific understanding of air pollution now available, it is clear that emissions need to be even further reduced to protect health and the environment.
Located in Publications
Article Every breath we take
We breathe from the moment we are born until the moment we die. It is a vital and constant need, not only for us but for all life on Earth. Poor air quality affects us all: it harms our health and the health of the environment, which leads to economic losses. But what does the air we breathe consist of and where do the various air pollutants come from?
Located in Signals — well-being and the environment Signals 2013 Articles
File Every breath we take
Located in Media Audiovisuals
Highlight Every breath we take – Signals 2013 focuses on air quality in Europe
Poor air quality can have serious impacts on our health and the environment. How is Europe’s air quality? What are the main sources of air pollutants? How do they affect our health and the environment? What does Europe do to improve air quality? The new edition of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals takes a closer look.
Located in News
Indicator Assessment Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas (CSI 004) - Assessment published Aug 2010
Particulate Matter (PM 10 ) In the period 1997-2008, 18-50 % of the urban population was potentially exposed to ambient air concentrations of particulate matter (PM 10 ) in excess of the EU limit value set for the protection of human health (50 microgram /m 3 daily mean not be exceeded more than 35 days a calendar year); (Figure 1). Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) In the period 1997-2008, 6-41 % of the urban population was potentially exposed to ambient air nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) concentrations above the EU limit value set for the protection of human health (40 microgram NO 2 /m 3 annual mean). There was a slight downwards trend over the period (Figure 1). Ozone (O 3 ) In the period 1997-2008, 13-62 % of the urban population in Europe was exposed to ambient ozone concentrations exceeding the EU target value set for the protection of human health (120 microgram O 3 /m 3 daily maximum 8-hourly average, not to be exceeded more than 25 times a calendar year by 2010). The 62 % of the urban population exposed to ambient ozone concentrations over the EU target value was recorded in 2003, which was the record year. There was no discernible trend over the period (Figure 1). Sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) In the period 1997-2008, the fraction of the urban population in EEA-32 member countries that is potentially exposed to ambient air concentrations of sulphur dioxide in excess of the EU limit value set for the protection of human health (125 microgram SO 2 /m 3 daily mean not to be exceeded more than three days a year), decreased to less than 1 %, and as such the EU limit value set is close to being met everywhere in the urban background (Figure 1).
Located in Data and maps Indicators Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas
Figure File Exceedances of air quality objectives due to traffic
The maps shows the mean and background concentrations of NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 observed at traffic stations in 2011
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs AirBase - Exchange of information
Indicator Assessment Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (CSI 005) - Assessment published May 2012
Eutrophication The magnitude of the risk of ecosystem eutrophication and its geographical coverage has diminished only slightly over the years. The predictions for 2010 and 2020 indicate that the risk is still widespread over Europe. This is in conflict with the EU's long-term objective of not exceeding critical loads of airborne acidifying and eutrophying substances in sensitive ecosystem areas (National Emission Ceilings Directive, 6th Environmental Action Programme, Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution). Acidification The situation has considerably improved and it is predicted to improve further. The interim environmental objective for 2010 (National Emission Ceilings Directive) will most likely not be met completely. However, the European ecosystem areas where the critical load will be exceeded is predicted to have declined by more than 80 % in 2010 with 1990 as a base year. By 2020, it is expected that the risk of ecosystem acidification will only be an issue at some hot spots, in particular at the border area between the Netherlands and Germany. Ozone (O 3 ) Most vegetation and agricultural crops are exposed to ozone levels exceeding the long-term objective given in the EU Air Quality Directive. A significant fraction is also exposed to levels above the 2010 target value defined in the Directive. Concentrations in 2008 were on the average higher than in 2007. The effect-related accumulated concentrations, addressing exposure of crops to ozone over several summer months, shows large year-to-year variations, there is a non-significance tendency to increase.  
Located in Data and maps Indicators Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone
European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100