Changes in Nonpoint Nutrient Loading into European Freshwaters: Trends and Consequences since 1950 and Not-Impossible Changes until 2080

Behrendt H (1988). Changes in Nonpoint Nutrient Loading into European Freshwaters: Trends and Consequences since 1950 and Not-Impossible Changes until 2080. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-88-026

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Abstract

Devising strategies that foster long-term economic development in Europe within a framework of ecological sustainability is the major theme of IIASA's study "The Future Environments for Europe: Some Implications of Alternative Development Paths. This Working Paper is a direct contribution to that study.

There have been many reports in the environmental literature linking agricultural activities to ecological degradation. Few of them, however, have a time horizon of decades to a century. When viewed over such a time span, ecological alterations, that may currently appear to be minor in the short term, may cause major environmental effects due to the accumulation of small changes over many years. From a policy point of view, such effects are important for two reasons. Firstly, they may come as a "surprise" to governments and the public alike. Secondly, once the major change is observed, it may be too late to develop an appropriate management strategy to minimize much of the damage. (The sudden advent of Waldsterben in Central Europe in the early 1980's is a recent example.) From a scientific point of view, such effects are of interest because they exemplify how changes, occurring on relatively slow time scales, can trigger sudden threshold responses in the environment.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Environment Program - Core (ENC)
Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:59
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2016 17:19
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3179

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