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.
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. Compared to 2009, the ozone indicators show a mixed behavior Averaged over all rural background stations, the concentration relevant for the exposure of crops is slightly higher. However, the agricultural area exposed to concentrations above the target value did not increase in 2009 and 2010 compared to previous years, but the area exposed to levels between 12 000 and 18 000 (µg/m 3 ).hour is larger than in the previous years. With respect to the exposure of forests, the concentrations are similar compared to previous years.
The effect-related concentrations, addressing exposure of crops to ozone over several summer months, show large year-to-year variations. Over the period 1996-2010 there is a tendency to increased exposure until 2006; and a tendency to decreasing levels after 2006. However, due to the large year-to-year variations, this development has not proven to be statistically significant.
Data and maps
Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone