Original Article

Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 179-192

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the Black Sea in 1970–2050

  • Maryna StrokalAffiliated withEnvironmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University Email author 
  • , Carolien KroezeAffiliated withEnvironmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen UniversitySchool of Science, Open University of the Netherland


Increased nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) inputs are major causes of eutrophication in the coastal waters of the Black Sea. The objective of this study is to analyze the past and future trends in river export of nitrogen and phosphorus to the coastal waters of the Black Sea and to assess the associated potential for coastal eutrophication. The Global NEWS-2 (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds) model was used for this purpose. Currently, most eutrophication occurs in the North Black Sea and the Azov Sea. In the future, however, this may change. We analyzed trends up to 2050 on the basis of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) scenarios. The results indicate that nutrient loads in rivers draining into the North Black Sea and the Azov Sea may decrease in the coming decades as a result of agricultural trends and environmental policy. However, in these scenarios, the targets of the Black Sea Convention are not met. In the South Black Sea, there is currently little eutrophication. But this may change because of increases in nutrient inputs from sewage in the future.


River export Nitrogen Phosphorus The Black Sea Eutrophication