The use of critical load exceedances in abatement strategy planning
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Critical loads for sulphur and nitrogen are defined to produce effective control strategies over Europe, such as those of the new sulphur protocol. To determine the critical load exceedances on the European scale it is necessary to simplify and generalize. The spatial variation on a scale smaller than the 150 × 150 km EMEP grid squares is considered for critical loads, via a cumulative frequency distribution and the 95 percentile for the grid square is determined. The deposition is assumed to be uniform over the area and the exceedance over the 95 percentile critical load is determined. In reality, the spatial variation is considerable for critical loads as well as for deposition. Calculations based on the frequency of local critical load exceedances have been made for two grid squares in southern Sweden. Local critical loads for acidity are compared to local deposition. Deposition variations due to pollution gradients within the square and to ecosystem structure have been considered. The results are similar for the two squares. The calculations based on local exceedances on 50×50 km grid squares and consideration to landuse variability, indicate that in order to protect 95% of the ecosystems in the square, emission reductions 25% greater than the large-scale European approach are needed. The effect of enhanced deposition at forest edges is of relatively small importance for the total exceedance.
KeywordsCritical loads acidity sulphur variability abatement strategy
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