Influence of summer and winter climate variability on nitrogen wet deposition in Norway
Abstract. Dominating wind patterns around Norway may change due to climate warming. This could affect transport of polluted air masses and precipitation. Here, we study relations between reactive nitrogen wet deposition and air mass transport during summer and winter expressed in the form of climate indices, at seven sites in Southern Norway for the period 1980–2005. Atmospheric nitrate concentrations decreased with 0 to 50% in the period, particularly at sites with little precipitation, and mostly during 1990–2005. For comparison, reported reductions in emissions of oxidised nitrogen in Europe in 1989–2003 were 23%. Climate indices explained up to 36% of the variation in winter nitrate deposition at the western and northern sites – and also explained 60% of the variation in winter precipitation (R=0.77). This suggests that the variation in nitrate wet deposition is closely related to variation in precipitation, and that the climate indices seem to also partly control the variation in atmospheric nitrate concentrations (R=−0.45 at coastal sites). At the coastal sites, local air temperature was highly correlated (R=0.84) with winter nitrate deposition, suggesting that warm, humid winter weather results in increased wet nitrate deposition. For ammonia the pattern was similar, but this compound is more influenced by local sources. Expected severe increase in precipitation in western and northern regions as a consequence of climate change suggest that nitrogen deposition in these areas will increase under global warming if emissions are held constant.