Articles | Volume 11, issue 19
Research article
04 Oct 2011
Research article |  | 04 Oct 2011

Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to the Baltic Sea in the period 1995–2006

J. Bartnicki, V. S. Semeena, and H. Fagerli

Abstract. The EMEP/MSC-W model has been used to compute atmospheric nitrogen deposition into the Baltic Sea basin for the period of 12 yr: 1995–2006. The level of annual total nitrogen deposition into the Baltic Sea basin has changed from 230 Gg N in 1995 to 199 Gg N in 2006, decreasing 13 %. This value corresponds well with the total nitrogen emission reduction (11 %) in the HELCOM Contracting Parties. However, inter-annual variability of nitrogen deposition to the Baltic Sea basin is relatively large, ranging from −13 % to +17 % of the averaged value. It is mainly caused by the changing meteorological conditions and especially precipitation in the considered period. The calculated monthly deposition pattern is similar for most of the years showing maxima in the autumn months October and November. The source allocation budget for atmospheric nitrogen deposition to the Baltic Sea basin was calculated for each year of the period 1997–2006. The main emission sources contributing to total nitrogen deposition are: Germany 18–22 %, Poland 11–13 % and Denmark 8–11 %. There is also a significant contribution from distant sources like the United Kingdom 6–9 %, as well as from the international ship traffic on the Baltic Sea 4–5 %.

Final-revised paper