Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 7, Issue 1–3, pp 41–47 | Cite as

Long Term Trends in Sulphur and Nitrogen Deposition in Europe and the Cause of Non-linearities

  • David Fowler
  • Rognvald Smith
  • Jennifer Muller
  • John Neil Cape
  • Mark Sutton
  • Jan Willem Erisman
  • Hilde Fagerli
Article

Abstract

Emissions of sulphur and oxidized nitrogen compounds in Europe have been reduced following a series of control measures during the last two decades. These changes have taken place during a period in which the primary gases and the wet deposition throughout Europe were extensively monitored. Since the end of the 1970s, for example land based sulphur emissions declined by between 90 and 70% depending on the region. Over the same period the total deposition of sulphur and its partitioning into wet and dry deposition have declined, but the spatial pattern in the reduction in deposition differs from that of emission and has changed with time. Such non-linearities in the emission-deposition relationship are important to understand as they complicate the process of assessing the effects of emission reduction strategies. Observed non-linearities in terrestrial sulphur emission-deposition patterns have been identified in north west Europe due to increases in marine emissions, and are currently slowing the recovery of freshwater ecosystems. Changes in the relative amounts of SO2 and NH3 in air over the last two decades have also changed the affinity of terrestrial surfaces for SO2 and have therefore changed the deposition velocity of SO2 over substantial areas. The consequence of this effect has been the very rapid reduction in ambient SO2 concentration in some of the major source areas of Europe, where NH3 did not change much. Interactions between the different pollutants, generating non-linearities are now being incorporated in long-range transport models to simulate the effects of historical emission trends and to provide projections into the future. This paper identifies non-linearities in emission deposition relationships for sulphur and nitrogen compounds in Europe using data from the EMEP long-rang transport model and measured concentration fields of the major ions in precipitation and of SO2 and NO2 in surface air.

Keywords

nitrogen non-linearity shipping sulphur wet and dry deposition 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The Authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the European Commission through the NEPAP project and the UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in contracts (EPG1/3/166).

References

  1. Bartnicki, J. (2000). Non-linear effects in the source-receptor matrices computed with the EMEP Eulerian acid deposition model. pp 34 EMEP/MSC-W Note 4/00.Google Scholar
  2. Clark, P. A., Fisher, B. E. A., & Scriven, R. A. (1987). The wet deposition of sulphate and its relationship to sulphur dioxide emissions. Atmospheric Environment, 21, 1125–1131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Corbett, J. J., & Koehler, H. W. (2003). Updated emissions from ocean shipping. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, 4650, doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2003JD003751.
  4. Brydges, T. G., & Wilson, R. B. (1991). Acid rain since 1985-times are changing. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh B, 97, 1–16.Google Scholar
  5. Derwent, R. G., Stevenson, D. S., Doherty, R. M., Collins, W. J., Sanderson, M. G., Johnson, C. E., et al. (2005). The contribution from shipping emissions to air quality and acid deposition in Europe. Ambio, 34, 54–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Endresen, O., Sorgard, E., Sundet, J. K., Dalsoren, S. B., Isaksen, I. S. A., Berglen, T. F., et al. (2003). Emission from sea transportation and environmental impact. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, 4650, doi http://dx.doi.org/10/2002JD002898.
  7. Erisman, J. W., Hensen, A., Fowler, D., Flechard, C. R., Grüner, A., Spindler, G., et al. (2001). Dry deposition monitoring in Europe. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Focus 1, 17–27.Google Scholar
  8. Erisman, J. M., Mennen, M. G., Fowler, D., Flechard, C. R., Spindler, G., Gruner, A., et al. (1998). Deposition monitoring in Europe. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 53, 279–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Flechard, C. R., Fowler, D., Sutton, M. A., & Cape, J. N. (1999). A dynamic chemical model of bi-directional ammonia exchange between semi-natural vegetation and the atmosphere. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 125, 1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fowler, D., Muller, J., Smith, R. I., Cape, J. N., & Erisman, J. W. (2005). Nonlinearities in source receptor relationships for sulphur and nitrogen compounds. Ambio, 34, 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fowler, D., Sutton, M. A., Flecard, C., Cape, J. N., Storeton-West, R., Coyle, M., et al. (2001). The control of SO2 dry deposition on to natural surfaces by NH3 and its effects on regional deposition. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, Focus 1, 39–48.Google Scholar
  12. Grennfelt, P., & Hov, Ø. (2005). Regional air pollution at a turning point. Ambio, 34, 2–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Johnson, D. W., & Reuss, J. O. (1984). Soil-mediated effects of atmospherically deposited sulphur and nitrogen. Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. B, 305, 383–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Simmonds, P., Derwent, R. G., Manning, A. L., & Spain, G. (2004). Significant growth in surface ozone at mace head, Ireland, 1987–2003. Atmospheric Environment, 38, 4769–4778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tarrason, L., Fagerli, H., Jonson, J. E., Klein, H., van Loon, M., Simpson, D., et al. (2004). Transboundary acidification, eutrophication and ground level ozone in Europe. EMEP Status Report 1/04, pp. 154. Google Scholar
  16. Wayne, R. P. (1985). Chemistry of atmospheres. New York: Oxford University Press. ( pp. 361)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Fowler
    • 1
  • Rognvald Smith
    • 1
  • Jennifer Muller
    • 1
  • John Neil Cape
    • 1
  • Mark Sutton
    • 1
  • Jan Willem Erisman
    • 2
  • Hilde Fagerli
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Ecology and HydrologyBush EstateEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Energy research Centre of The NetherlandsPettenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Norwegian Meteorological InstituteOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations