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ICP Waters Programme Centre Norwegian Institute for Water Research

ICP Waters Programme Centre Norwegian Institute for Water Research

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ICP Waters Programme Centre Norwegian Institute for Water Research

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  1. Trends in precipitation chemistry, surface water chemistry and aquatic biota in acidified areas in Europe and North America from 1990 to 2008 ICP Waters Programme Centre Norwegian Institute for Water Research

  2. Aim of the report • Describe the changes in acid sensitive aquatic ecosystems in Europe and North America due to emission reductions

  3. The last 50 years • 60s – 70s: increase in deposition - severe acidification – fish deaths – forest dieback – concerns leading to establishment of the LRTAP Convention • 80s : decrease in deposition - small (no) changes in water chemistry and no changes in biota • 90s : large decrease in deposition - large changes in water chemistry and small positive changes (recovery) in biota • 00s : ?? • Does the positive development in water chemistry continue? and at what rate? • What is the rate of change in the biological recovery?

  4. Chain of effects Emission reductions of S and N  changes in precipitation chemistry  changes in water chemistry • possible effects on aquatic biota (recovery)

  5. Responsible for the different parts of the report • Emissions: From EMEP reports • Precipitation: EMEP CCC contribution • Water chemistry: ICP Waters database and all Task Force members • Biology: National contributions from 6 countries

  6. Time spans in the report 1990 – 1999 = 90s 1999 – 2008 = 00s and the whole period together 1990 - 2008

  7. S Emissions reductions Changes in concentrations in precipitation

  8. NOx Emissions reductions Changes in concentrations in precipitation

  9. EMEP CCC monitoring network used for the analysis

  10. ICP Waters network Chemistry at all sites Biology at selected sites and not in all countries

  11. Changes in sulphate* concentrations in surface waters ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ ÷ + ÷ + ÷ + ÷

  12. Trends in ANC 1990-1999 and 1999-2008 ICP Waters sites All median trend slopes in all regions are positiv Slightly lower increase 1999-2008 than 1990-1999

  13. Main conclusions of changes in water chemistry Sulphate: About 70 % of nearly 200 sites, and 11 of 12 regions show significant declines in non-marine sulphate in the 90s and the 00s. Decrease has slowed down in the 00 compared to the 90s Nitrogen: Most sites show no significant trends in nitrate The relative importance of NO3 for acidification of surface waters has increased The changes in N is the same for the 90s and the 00s

  14. Main conclusions of changes in water chemistry Alkalinity/ANC: Increase has slowed down in most regions pH: Most European regions show more improvements in the 00s while in North America the changes it is much of the same Organic carbon: No evident differences between the two periods – still increase

  15. Biological recovery

  16. Conclusions • Improvements in acidification of surface waters are related to lower acid deposition • The reductions of acidifying components in precipitation are larger and quicker than the observed improvements in water chemistry • Increase in pH, alkalinity and ANC indicate that biological recovery can be expected • Biological recovery is documented in many regions in Europe • Full recovery is not documented anywhere. • A return to pre-industrial biodiversity is unlikely • Several areas in Europe will never achieve good (non-acidified) water quality with current legislation of emissions of acidifying components. • Future reductions of both S and N deposition would be necessary to achieve biological recovery not influenced by acidification.

  17. The last 50 years • 60s – 70s: increase in deposition - severe acidification – fish deaths – forest dieback – concerns leading to establishment of the LRTAP Convention • 80s : decrease in deposition - small (no) changes in water chemistry and no changes in biota • 90s : large decrease in deposition - large changes in water chemistry and small positive changes (recovery) in biota • 00s : less decrease in deposition - chemical recovery is slowing down, more signs of biological recovery, but ecosystems are still fragile

  18. www.icp-waters.nothe report will be avilable in October