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THE USE OF CRITICAL LOADS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF FUTURE ALTERNATIVES TO ACIDIFICATION

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

  • J Kamari
  • M Amann
  • Y W Brodin
  • M J Chadwick
  • A Henriksen
  • J P Hettelingh
  • J Kuylenstierna
  • M Posch
  • H Sverdrup

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalAmbio
DatePublished - Aug 1992
Issue number5
Volume21
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)377-386
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Three European maps on critical loads demonstrate that extensive areas in the Nordic countries exhibit extreme sensitivity to acidic deposition. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the present maps of critical loads of acidity in Nordic ecosystems, and to demonstrate the different ways of using critical loads in designing emission abatement strategies. The critical loads in the Nordic countries show a considerable variability on both small and large spatial scales. By assessing the areas where critical loads are exceeded it is shown that it will be difficult in the near future to reach critical-load levels. These difficulties have led to the formulation of target loads. The critical-loads concept is meant to be used as a guiding principle for negotiations on emission controls and to target the emission reductions to areas where they are needed most by assigning national or region specific target loads which are based on the critical loads. The information on regional distributions of critical loads and on the amount they are exceeded at individual sites forms a basis for setting national or international targets for emission reductions. The evaluation of the preliminary target loads for Nordic countries shows that there is a need for harmonization of the target-load criteria. The target loads should reflect the varying sensitivity in different regions, and this can only be done by relating target loads to critical loads.

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