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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (version 1) / Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (version 1) (CSI 005) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (version 1) (CSI 005) - Assessment published Nov 2005

Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Air pollution Air pollution (Primary topic)

Tags:
ozone | pollution | csi | air
DPSIR: State
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 005
 
Contents
 

Key policy question: What progress is being made towards the targets for reducing the exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone?

Key messages

  • Eutrophication has fallen slightly since 1980. However, only limited further improvement is expected by 2010 with current plans.
  • There have been clear reductions in acidification of Europe's environment since 1980, but with some tailing off in that improvement after 2000.
  • Most agricultural crops are exposed to ozone levels exceeding the EU long term objective and a significant fraction is exposed to levels above the target value. AOT40 values showed an increasing tendency over the last years.

EU-25 and European-wide ecosystem damage area (average accumulated exceedance of critical loads), 1980-2020

Note: Data source of deposition-data used to calculate exceedances: EMEP/MSC-W

Data source:

UNECE - Coordination Center for Effects

Downloads and more info

Exposure of crops to ozone (exposure expressed as AOT40 in (mg/m3).h) in EEA member countries, 1996-2002

Note: The target value for protection of vegetation is 18 (mg/m3).h while the long-term objective is set to 6 (mg/m3).h

Data source:

Air quality database Airbase (ETC/ACC)

Downloads and more info

Exposure above AOT40 target values for vegetation around rural ozone stations (EEA member countries), 2002

Note: Reference period: May - July 2002

Data source:

(ETC/ACC)

Downloads and more info

Key assessment

Acidification

There have been substantial reductions in areas subjected to deposition of excess acidity since 1980 (Figure 1). Current data, however, makes it difficult to assess the quantitative improvements since 1990 (these being the standards established in the National Emissions Ceilings Directive, NECD, 2001/81/EC) as acidification status in this base year (1990) remains to be estimated using the latest critical loads and deposition calculation methodology.

Progress on a country basis indicates that by 2000 all except six countries had less than 50% of their ecosystem areas in exceedance of acidity critical loads. Further substantial progress is anticipated for virtually all countries in the period 2000-2010. The current status in the countries of the EU-25 remains poorer than across the broader European continent.

Evaluating progress in achieving the NECD acidification 50% reduction target is hampered not only by recently revised modelled deposition estimates and the lack of updated 1990 data, but by the changes in critical load assessments completed by countries themselves since negotiation of the Directive. Difficulties in managing 'double counting' (areas containing critical loads for more than one ecosystem type) exist for more than one country.

Eutrophication

Eutrophication shows less progress (Figure 1). There have been limited improvements at the European level since 1980, and very little further improvement is expected in some countries between 2000 and 2010. The broader European continent continues to have a lesser problem than the countries of the EU-25.

Ozone

There is a substantial fraction of the arable area in EEA-31+ countries (1) (in 2002, about 38% of a total area of 133 million ha) where the target value is exceeded (Figure 2 and 3). The long-term objective is met in less than 9% of the total arable area, mainly in the UK, Ireland and the northern part of Scandinavia.


(1) Due to missing information Bulgaria, Cyprus and Turkey are not included in the analyses; Switzerland is included.

Specific policy question: Which areas of Europe and which country-wise area totals remain most affected by acidification and eutrophication?

Exceedance of the critical loads for eutrophication in Europe (as average accumulated exceedances), 2000

Note: Distribution of the magnitude of average accumulated exceedance of the critical loads for eutrophication in 2000.

Data source:

UNECE - Coordination Center for Effects; Deposition-data: EMEP/MSC-W

Downloads and more info

Exceedance of the critical loads for acidity in Europe (as average accumulated exceedances), 2000

Note: Distribution of the magnitude of average accumulated exceedance of the critical loads for eutrophication in 2000.

Data source:

UNECE - Coordination Center for Effects; Deposition-data: EMEP/MSC-W

Downloads and more info

Country-wise ecosystem damage area for eutrophication in Europe, 2000-2010

Note: N/A

Data source:

UNECE - Coordination Center for Effects

Downloads and more info

Country-wise ecosystem damage for acidity in Europe, 2000-2010

Note: N/A

Data source:

UNECE - Coordination Center for Effects

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

The maps (Figure 4 and 5) show the spatial distribution over Europe - as additional illustration to the key message - on acidification and eutrophication.

The country-wise barcharts (Figure 6 and 7) show - as additional illustration to the key message - the progress made and to be expected in each European country.

Specific policy question: Which areas of Europe remain most affected by ozone?

Annual variation in the ozone AOT40 value (May-July), (EEA member countries), 1995-2003

Note: Average values over all rural stations which reported data over at least six years in the period 1996-2002

Data source:

Airbase (ETC/ACC)

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

Strong year-to-year fluctuations both in meteorological conditions as well as in the number and location of monitoring stations and lack of data prevent general conclusions on time trends of the exposed area. However, using the observed concentration data, an analysis of recent trends (1996-2002) can be made for about 200 rural stations which have provided AOT40 values for at least six annual periods. Although the variation in measured AOT40 values is large, the overall averaged value shows a increasing tendency over the last years (Figure 8 and 9).

A data summary for EEA countries(2) of crops (in 106 ha) for each exposure class;
no data refers to the area for which data is lacking (see fotenote (2)); total refers to the total area of crops in the EEA-31 countries and Switzerland:

Crops areas (106 ha) exposed to AOT40 levels

AOT40 values
1996
1998
2000
2002
0-6 mg/m3.h
1.83
11.26
12.69
11.48
6-12 mg/m3.h
27.03
14.59
25.85
22.66
12-18 mg/m3.h
54.17
13.58
23.10
25.25
> 18 mg/m3.h
26.32
51.92
47.72
49.97
covered area
109.35
109.35
109.35
109.35
no data
0.90
0.90
0.90
0.90
no coverage
22.83
22.83
22.83
22.83
total
133.08
133.08
133.08
133.08

(2) The fraction labelled with "no information" refers to areas in Greece, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia for which either no ozone data from rural background stations or no detailed land cover data is available. The countries Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Turkey are not included.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Peder Gabrielsen

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Document Actions
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Comments

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100