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Berlin, Germany

Topcu D.,University of Hamburg | Behrendt H.,Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries | Brockmann U.,University of Hamburg | Claussen U.,German Environment Agency
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2011

Natural background concentrations of nutrients are needed for the assessments of eutrophication processes and their status. Natural background concentrations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) were modelled for the rivers discharging into the German Bight and the Rhine considering individual catchment sizes, freshwater flows and soil types. These data were validated by comparison with data from unpolluted rivers. The consistency of modelled and some compiled nutrient concentrations was confirmed by their area-specific load dependency on freshwater discharges. Pristine inorganic nutrient concentrations were deduced from modelled relations to TN and TP in unpolluted rivers. Pristine nutrient gradients between rivers and offshore waters were estimated by linear mixing until a salinity of 32, continued by hyperbolic fits towards recent mean offshore values (salinity 34.5-35). Based on these gradients and recent mean salinities, maps of pristine surface gradients were plotted for the whole German Bight. Variability was transferred from recent conditions as percentage of standard deviation. Reported historical nutrient data and concentrations from unpolluted rivers, coastal and offshore North Sea waters are discussed concerning their relations to natural background conditions. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Pause M.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Schweitzer C.,German Environment Agency | Rosenthal M.,TU Dresden | Keuck V.,German Aerospace Center | And 5 more authors.
Remote Sensing | Year: 2016

For mapping, quantifying and monitoring regional and global forest health, satellite remote sensing provides fundamental data for the observation of spatial and temporal forest patterns and processes. While new remote-sensing technologies are able to detect forest data in high quality and large quantity, operational applications are still limited by deficits of in situ verification. In situ sampling data as input is required in order to add value to physical imaging remote sensing observations and possibilities to interlink the forest health assessment with biotic and abiotic factors. Numerous methods on how to link remote sensing and in situ data have been presented in the scientific literature using e.g. empirical and physical-based models. In situ data differs in type, quality and quantity between case studies. The irregular subsets of in situ data availability limit the exploitation of available satellite remote sensing data. To achieve a broad implementation of satellite remote sensing data in forest monitoring and management, a standardization of in situ data, workflows and products is essential and necessary for user acceptance. The key focus of the review is a discussion of concept and is designed to bridge gaps of understanding between forestry and remote sensing science community. Methodological approaches for in situ/remote-sensing implementation are organized and evaluated with respect to qualifying for forest monitoring. Research gaps and recommendations for standardization of remote-sensing based products are discussed. Concluding the importance of outstanding organizational work to provide a legally accepted framework for new information products in forestry are highlighted. Source

Tobollik M.,Bielefeld University | Tobollik M.,German Environment Agency | Keuken M.,TNO | Sabel C.,University of Bristol | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2016

Background: Green house gas (GHG) mitigation policies can be evaluated by showing their co-benefits to health. Method: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) was used to quantify co-benefits of GHG mitigation policies in Rotterdam. The effects of two separate interventions (10% reduction of private vehicle kilometers and a share of 50% electric-powered private vehicle kilometers) on particulate matter (PM2.5), elemental carbon (EC) and noise (engine noise and tyre noise) were assessed using Years of Life Lost (YLL) and Years Lived with Disability (YLD). The baseline was 2010 and the end of the assessment 2020. Results: The intervention aimed at reducing traffic is associated with a decreased exposure to noise resulting in a reduction of 21 (confidence interval (CI): 11-129) YLDs due to annoyance and 35 (CI: 20-51) YLDs due to sleep disturbance for the population per year. The effects of 50% electric-powered car use are slightly higher with a reduction of 26 (CI: 13-116) and 41 (CI: 24-60) YLDs, respectively. The two interventions have marginal effects on air pollution, because already implemented traffic policies will reduce PM2.5 and EC by around 40% and 60% respectively, from 2010 to 2020. Discussion: The evaluation of planned interventions, related to climate change policies, targeting only the transport sector can result in small co-benefits for health, if the analysis is limited to air pollution and noise. This urges to expand the analysis by including other impacts, e.g. physical activity and well-being, as a necessary step to better understanding consequences of interventions and carefully orienting resources useful to build knowledge to improve public health. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Source

Chen Y.,Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research | Chen Y.,Max Planck Institute for Chemistry | Cheng Y.-F.,Max Planck Institute for Chemistry | Nordmann S.,Max Planck Institute for Chemistry | And 14 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2016

Elemental Carbon (EC) has a significant impact on human health and climate change. In order to evaluate the size segregation of EC emission in the EUCAARI inventory and investigate its influence on the simulation of EC long-range transportation in Europe, we used the fully coupled online Weather Research and Forecasting/Chemistry model (WRF-Chem) at a resolution of 2 km focusing on a region in Germany, in conjunction with a high-resolution EC emission inventory. The ground meteorology conditions, vertical structure and wind pattern were well reproduced by the model. The simulations of particle number and/or mass size distributions were evaluated with observations at the central European background site Melpitz. The fine mode particle concentration was reasonably well simulated, but the coarse mode was substantially overestimated by the model mainly due to the plume with high EC concentration in coarse mode emitted by a nearby point source. The comparisons between simulated EC and Multi-angle Absorption Photometers (MAAP) measurements at Melpitz, Leipzig-TROPOS and Bösel indicated that the coarse mode EC (ECc) emitted from the nearby point sources might be overestimated by a factor of 2-10. The fraction of ECc was overestimated in the emission inventory by about 10-30 % for Russia and 5-10 % for Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland and Belarus). This incorrect size-dependent EC emission results in a shorter atmospheric life time of EC particles and inhibits the long-range transport of EC. A case study showed that this effect caused an underestimation of 20-40 % in the EC mass concentration in Germany under eastern wind pattern. © 2016 Author(s). Source

Brandt M.,German Environment Agency | Becker E.,German Environment Agency | Johncke U.,German Environment Agency | Sattler D.,German Environment Agency | Schulte C.,German Environment Agency
Environmental Sciences Europe | Year: 2016

Background: One important purpose of the European REACH Regulation (EC No. 1907/2006) is to promote the use of alternative methods for assessment of hazards of substances in order to avoid animal testing. Experience with environmental hazard assessment under REACH shows that efficient alternative methods are needed in order to assess chemicals when standard test data are missing. One such assessment method is the weight-of-evidence (WoE) approach. In this study, the WoE approach was used to assess the persistence of certain phenolic benzotriazoles, a group of substances including also such of very high concern (SVHC). Results: For phenolic benzotriazoles, assessment of the environmental persistence is challenging as standard information, i.e. simulation tests on biodegradation are not available. Thus, the WoE approach was used: overall information resulting from many sources was considered, and individual uncertainties of each source analysed separately. In a second step, all information was aggregated giving an overall picture of persistence to assess the degradability of the phenolic benzotriazoles under consideration although the reliability of individual sources was incomplete. Conclusions: Overall, the evidence suggesting that phenolic benzotriazoles are very persistent in the environment is unambiguous. This was demonstrated by a WoE approach considering the prerequisites of REACH by combining several limited information sources. The combination enabled a clear overall assessment which can be reliably used for SVHC identification. Finally, it is recommended to include WoE approaches as an important tool in future environmental risk assessments. © 2016, Brandt et al. Source

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