ACIDIFICATION AND CRITICAL LOADS IN NORDIC COUNTRIES - A BACKGROUND

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Abstract

During the past few years, the critical-load concept has evolved to form the basis for international negotiations on reducing emissions of sulfur and nitrogen with the aim of counteracting acidification and eutrophication. Critical loads are thresholds of damage which indicate the degree to which deposition will have to be reduced if emissions are to be acceptable. The critical load may be employed in cost-effective environmentally optimized abatement strategies. The concept was introduced in the late 1970s and further improved in the 1980s. Based on the critical-load concept, individual countries have set deposition goals called target loads. The Nordic countries in particular, have taken a special interest in developing and refining the critical-load concept. This is mainly because of the serious effects caused by acidification and eutrophication in the Nordic countries during the past few decades; including heavily acidified soils, forest damage, thousands of seriously acidified surface waters, and decreased flora and fauna diversity. The risk of further environmental deterioration in the future is also of concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
Volume21
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1992

Keywords

  • SOUTHERN SWEDEN
  • FOREST
  • EUROPE

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