Skip to Content

Resource hub

UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019. Indicator B5a – Air pollution 2019

Corporate UK Biodiversity


Updated 5 December 2019

This indicator was updated on 5 December 2019 with the 2016 data, which, due to timing, could not be included in the UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019 publication on 5 September 2019.

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

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

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2019·12·05

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK (2019). UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019.

The UK 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. Since then the indicators have been refined to improve their relevance/quality, and new indicators developed to fill gaps. In this version of the publication as many as possible of the indicators have been updated with new data. In some cases, however, development work is ongoing, and where this is the case, the work to develop them has been described briefly.

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 2019·12·05

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

Back to top