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UK Biodiversity Indicators 2021. Indicator B5a – Air pollution 2021

Corporate UK Biodiversity


These documents support response indicator B5a – Air pollution. The documents include a datasheet and technical background document.

The air pollutants sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and ammonia can contribute to acidification; nitrogen oxides and ammonia can also contribute to terrestrial eutrophication. These pollutants arise mainly from burning fossil fuels and from livestock waste. Around a third of UK land area (78,000 square kilometres) is sensitive to acidification, and a third (73,000 square kilometres) to eutrophication (much of this area is sensitive to both). Critical loads are thresholds for pollutant load above which significant harmful effects may occur on sensitive habitats; statistics on critical load exceedance indicate the risk of damage.

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Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2021·10·20

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK. 2021. UK Biodiversity Indicators 2021.

The UK Biodiversity Indicators were first published in 2007. They were created to provide a measure for reporting on the UK’s progress towards meeting international biodiversity goals and targets. The indicators were comprehensively reviewed during 2011 and 2012 to ensure they continued to be based on the most robust and reliable available data, and remained relevant to the new international goals and targets developed in 2010 and 2011.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC distributor

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Released under the Open Government Licence v3.0. Attribution statement "Contains public sector information from Defra, licenced under the Open Government Licence v3.0"

Metadata date 2021·10·20

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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