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You are here: Home / The European environment – state and outlook 2010
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Indicator Assessment Emissions of ozone precursors (CSI 002/APE 008) - Assessment published Dec 2012
Emissions of the main ground-level ozone precursor pollutants have decreased across the EEA-32 region between 1990 and 2010; nitrogen oxides (NO X ) by 42%, non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) by 53%, carbon monoxide (CO) by 61%, and methane (CH 4 ) by 32%. This decrease has been achieved mainly as a result of the introduction of catalytic converters for vehicles, which has significantly reduced emissions of NO X and CO from the road transport sector, the main source of ozone precursor emissions. The EU-27 as a whole has not met its 2010 target to reduce emissions of NO X , one of the two ozone precursors (NO X and NMVOC) for which emission limits exist under the EU's NEC Directive (NECD). Whilst total NMVOC emissions in the EU-27 were below the NECD limit in 2010, a number of individual Member States did not meet their ceilings for one or both of these two pollutants. Of the three non-EU countries having emission ceilings for 2010 set under the UNECE/CLRTAP Gothenburg protocol (Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), all reported NMVOC emissions in 2010 that were lower than their respective ceilings, however Liechtenstein and Norway reported NO X emissions higher than their ceiling for 2010.
Located in Data and maps Indicators Emissions of ozone precursors
Indicator Assessment Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone (CSI 005) - Assessment published Nov 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 2009 were on the average lower than in 2008. The effect-related accumulated concentrations, addressing exposure of crops to ozone over several summer months, shows large year-to-year variations. Over the period 1996-2009 there is a tendency to increased exposure, although this development has not proven to be statistically significant.  
Located in Data and maps Indicators Exposure of ecosystems to acidification, eutrophication and ozone
Figure Exceedance of the 5 percentile conditional critical loads for sulphur, 1995
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Emission trends of tropospheric (ground-level) ozone precursors (EEA member countries, EU-27)
This chart shows past emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compunds (NMVOC), carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) in the EEA-32 and EU-27 group of countries. In addition - for the EU-27 - the aggregated Member State 2010 emission ceilings for NOx and NMVOC are shown.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Emission trends of acidifying pollutants (EEA member countries, EU-27)
This chart shows past emission trends of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx) and ammonia (NH3) in the EEA-32 and EU-27 group of countries. In addition - for the EU-27 - the aggregated Member State 2010 emission ceiling for the respective pollutants are shown.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Figure Exceedance of critital loads of acidity
Maps showing changes in the extent to which European ecosystems are exposed to acid deposition (i.e. where the critical load limits for acidification are exceeded). Values for 2010 are predicted based on adherence to implementation of NEC Directive.
Located in Data and maps Maps and graphs
Data Visualisation text/texmacs Emission trends of acidifying pollutants
Located in Data and maps Visualise your data
Highlight Ten things everyone should know about Europe's productive seas
A recent assessment by the European Environment Agency (EEA) showed that European seas are in a worrying state. As policy makers meet to discuss the marine environment that sustains maritime development, the EEA summarises ten important facts about the ecosystems beneath the waves.
Located in News
Publication Understanding climate change — SOER 2010 thematic assessment
Average global air and ocean temperatures are rising, leading to the melting of snow and ice and rising global mean sea level. Ocean acidification results from higher CO2 concentrations. With unabated greenhouse gas emissions, climate change could lead to an increasing risk of irreversible shifts in the climate system with potentially serious consequences. Temperature rises of more than 1.5–2 °C above pre-industrial levels are likely to cause major societal and environmental disruptions in many regions. The atmospheric CO2 concentration needs to be stabilised at 350–400 parts per million (ppm) in order to have a 50 % chance of limiting global mean temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels (according to the IPCC in 2007, and confirmed by later scientific insights).
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Thematic assessments
Publication Soil — SOER 2010 thematic assessment
Nearly all of the food and fibres used by humans are produced on soil. Soil is also essential for water and ecosystem health. It is second only to the oceans as a global carbon sink, with an important role in the potential slowing of climate change. Soil functions depend on a multitude of soil organisms which makes it an important part of our biodiversity. Nevertheless, soil in many parts of Europe is being over-exploited, degraded and irreversibly lost due to impacts from industrial activities and land use change, leading to soil sealing, contamination, erosion and loss of organic carbon. Due to these problems, legislation for the protection of soils has been proposed at EU level.
Located in The European environment – state and outlook 2010 Thematic assessments
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