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Comparison of critical load exceedance and its uncertainty based on National and site-specific data

Heywood, Liz; Skeffington, Richard; Whitehead, Paul; Reynolds, Brian. 2007 Comparison of critical load exceedance and its uncertainty based on National and site-specific data. Water Air and Soil Pollution: Focus, 7 (1-3). 391-397. 10.1007/s11267-006-9082-x

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Abstract/Summary

Critical loads have been used to develop international agreements on acidifying air pollution abatement, and within the UK and other countries, to develop national policies for pollution abatement. The Environment Agency (England and Wales) has regulatory obligations to protect sites of high conservation value from the threat of acidification, and hence requires a practical methodology for acidification assessments at the site-specific scale. The Environment Agency has therefore posed the question: Are the national critical load exceedance models sufficiently robust to form the basis for methods to assess harm to individual sites or are they only useful for national policy development? In order to provide one measure of the appropriateness of applying the models at the site-specific scale we incorporated estimates of uncertainty in both national and site-specific data into the calculation of critical load exceedance for individual sites. The exceedance calculations use data from a wide range of sources and the accuracy of the exceedance will be influenced by the accuracy of the input data sets. Using Monte Carlo methods to incorporate the uncertainty in the input data sets into the calculation a distribution of critical load exceedance values is generated rather than a single point estimate. This paper compares uncertainty analyses for coniferous forested sites in England and Wales using both national scale and site-specific data sets and uncertainty ranges.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s11267-006-9082-x
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: Emmett
ISSN: 1567-7230
Additional Keywords: acidification, critical loads, robustness, uncertainty, scale, input data, policy
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Date made live: 20 Dec 2007 11:55
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/1782

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