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Ambio. 2008 Feb;37(1):9-17.

Climate change impact on atmospheric nitrogen deposition in northwestern Europe: a model study.

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Norwegian Institute for Air Research.


A high-resolution chemical transport model, driven by meteorology representing current and future climate, was used to investigate the effects of possible future changes in climate on nitrogen deposition in northwestern Europe. The model system was able to resolve the climatology of precipitation and chemical properties observed in northern Europe during the 1980s, albeit with some underestimation of the temporal and spatial variability of meteorological parameters and chemical components. The results point toward a substantial increase (30% or more) in nitrogen deposition over western Norway as a consequence of increasing precipitation but more moderate changes for other areas. Deposition of oxidized nitrogen will increase more than the deposition of reduced nitrogen. Over Sweden, oxidized nitrogen will increase only marginally and reduced nitrogen will decrease, although annual precipitation is expected to increase here as well. This is probably because more reduced nitrogen will be removed further west in Scandinavia because of the strong increase in precipitation along the Norwegian coast. The total deposition of oxidized nitrogen over Norway is expected to increase from 96 Gg N y(-1) during the current climate to 107 Gg N y(-1) by 2100 due only to changes in climate. The corresponding values for Sweden are more modest, from 137 Gg N y(-1) to 139 Gg N y(-1).

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