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Sci/Tech

Denmark's nature among EU's most polluted

Biodiversity under threat from increased air pollution


Danish waters are among the most polluted in Europe (Photo: Colourbox)

July 3, 2014
14:53

by Andreas Jakobsen


It might lead the way when it comes to happiness in Scandinavia, but Denmark comes a sorry last in the area of nature, primarily due to the constant nitrogen emissions that have polluted its water-based ecosystems.

A new EU report called 'Effects of air pollution on European ecosystems' lists Denmark's nature as one of the most tainted in Europe and concludes that it will remain that way for years, Ingeniøren reports.

Biodiversity under threat
When water-based ecosystems have too many different nutrients added to it, for instance from waste water and fertiliser, it starts a process known as eutrophication, which causes the excessive growth of certain plants but kills biodiversity.

In 2010, Denmark reached its eutrophication limit in all of its natural habitats and the report predicts that 99 percent of the area will still exceed the limit by 2030. A lot of the nitrates fall as rain and some areas receive more than 40 kilograms of nitrates in rain every year.

On that scale, only the nature in Luxembourg and the Netherlands is under more pressure than Denmark's, according to the report.

Acid rain died down
On a more positive note, the report also found that acid rain has diminished. It peaked in 1980 when half of all ecosystems in the EU were affected. Today, only five percent of Denmark is affected by acid rain.

 



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