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Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation
The first sampling for the soil and vegetation inventory of arable land was done in 1994-1995. The program covers arable land in Sweden and is designed to describe the state of Swedish arable land and the quality of the crop in relation to soil status, cultivation measures, and means of operation. At present soil sampling is made in 2000 fixed sampling points visited every 10th year.
NILS is a nation-wide environmental protection programme that monitors the conditions and changes in the Swedish landscape.
The programme started in 2003 and includes field inventory and aerial photo interpretation of permanent sample plots in all types of terrestrial environments.
NILS is mainly funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and an important objective is to provide information for follow-up of the Swedish national environmental objectives and the Natura 2000 network. NILS also contributes data to environmental research and international reporting.
At present, Sweden has 4 integrated monitoring (IM) sites that are part of a European network on integrated monitoring with an extensive measurement program. One of these sites, Gammtratten, situated in central Västerbotten, monitors several variables. This program is part of the International Cooperative Programme (ICP) on Integrated Monitoring (IM) of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems In Sweden there are three IM-sites, out of which Gammtratten in northern Sweden is one. The IM program at Gammtratten is performed by a consortium including IVL, SGU and SLU-EA. Basically there are three types of monitoring at the IM-sites, viz. Climatic, Chemical and Biological observations. Below is a list of the different analysis programs Air Concentration: SO2, NO2 Bulk deposition: pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, SO4-S, CL, Ca, Mg, Na, K, (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As) Throughfall: pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, SO4-S, CL, Ca, Mg, Na, K, (Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As) Soil water: pH, Cond, tot-N, org-N, NO3-N, NH4-N, Tot-P, PO4-P, DOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Al-tot, Al-org, Al-inorg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, Hg, MetylHg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As Groundwater: All years: pH, Cond, Si, NO3-N+NO2-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, TOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk/acidity, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and some years also Hg, Metyl-Hg, Cr, Ni, Co, V, As Stream water: All years pH, Cond, NO3-N, NH4-N, PO4-P, TOC, SO4-S, CL, Alk/acidity, tot-N, tot-C, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Fe, Mn, runoff volume and some years also Hg, Metyl-Hg, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd and labile Al. Soil chemistry: pH in water extracts, exchange acidity, exchangeable Ca, Mg, Na, K, Al, Mn, and Fe, base saturation and total content of C, N, P, S, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and Hg Litter fall: Amount of litter (dw per unit area), total P, C, N, and S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Al, Mn, Fe and during special years also Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg Litter decomp.: Dry weight loss from standard needles of Scots pine Soil respiration: CO2 -evolution per hour at 20oC, pH, Pb, Cd, Hg in OF-layer Understorey veg.: Field vegetation: Species, coverage, fertility, trees: speecies, coordinates, dbh, heiight, vitality. Down logs and stumps: species, dbh, degree of decomposition Needle chemistry: Total-P, tot-C, tot-N, and tot-S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Al, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd, Hg, arginin Biomass: Biomass, tot-C, tot-N, tot-P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B Forest injuries: Needle loss, dicolouring of needles, other injuries, tree class Simulated water balance: Precipitation, Evaporation, Runoff, Soil water, Snow Network type: integrated monitoring
The sample plot-based national forest inventory (RIS-RT) has been a continuous activity at SLU (and the forest research organizations existing before SLU) since 1923. All Sweden is included except the subalpine birch forest along the mountain chain. The national forest inventory is part of Sweden’s official statistics and is maintained by the Department of Forest Resource Management (SLU-FRM). The sampling strategy combines random and fixed plots and covers the country every 5 years. Each year around 10 000 sample plots are field surveyed nationwide. Approximately 200 variables are recorded for each plot.
Statistics Sweden has all relevant data related to population size, age structure, gender, births, deaths, and migration. The same types of data are collected for the whole country and are standardized for administrative units. Since the population data also contain the geographical coordinates for the place where each person lives, it is also possible to present the statistics for arbitrary geographical units. However, the official population and health statistics do not contain any information concerning which persons belong to the indigenous / non-indigenous population. In Sweden, this would be of relevance for studies of living conditions among the Sámi population. However, such studies have been conducted only in very specialized research projects based on the researcher’s own data collection and carried out in agreement with the Sámi people. Statistics Sweden reports on how many individuals enter and complete different levels of education. The statistics can be separated by geographic area. Statistics Sweden has data on unemployment and the distribution of incomes in different regions. Main gaps: No official statistics are easily available about the use of languages or about religious practices in general. For individuals with a foreign background, the country of birth, citizenship, and year of immigration to Sweden are registered. However, the official statistics do not separate the native indigenous from the non-indigenous population. Although the Sámi languages are officially acknowledged as minority languages, the trends concerning the number of people that speak and use them is not systematically monitored.
Detailed information about the health status of the population, e.g. birth weight and causes of death, is available from the National Board of Health and Welfare (www.sos.se). Much of the health data is available directly from their website. Information related to mental illness and information related to the quality of health care in different regions is also available. Data on absence from work due to illness are readily available from Statistics Sweden.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has 32 measurement stations distributed across Sweden, of which 16 are situated north of 60°N (Table 6, #6.1). They mainly measure radiation from radioactive compounds on the soil surface and automatically sound the alarm if the radiation increases. Every seventh month, radioactivity is measured on the soil surface at 4 to 5 spots in every municipality to check eventual radiation changes and to retain knowledge at an acceptable level (Table 6, #6.2). Special programs monitor 137Cs in humans (whole body), reindeer, fish, moose, and roe deer (Table 6, #6.3). The main incentive for this is the remains from the Chernobyl accident in 1986.
Estimates of human intake of environmental pollutions via food and drinking water are performed in cooperation with the National Food Administration (Table 4, #9.4). During 2006 an estimation of children’s intake of dioxin was finalized. The concentration of pollutants in groundwater wells is studied in cooperation with SGU and the National Board of Health and Welfare.
One focus of SEPA’s subprogram for human biological data concerns metals in human bodies (Table 4, #9.1). It includes studies on lead concentration in human blood, mercury in hair, and cadmium concentration in urine. Old hair samples have been collected and analyzed for mercury. Methyl mercury may damage the central nervous system, and at the fetal stage effects may occur already after low exposure. A study in Uppsala is investigating persistent organic compounds in breast milk. Concurrently, the young mothers answer a questionnaire, and hair samples are collected to analyze methyl mercury. Cadmium in urine is an indicator of the load on kidneys, and especially women with low iron storage have an elevated risk for increased cadmium uptake. A program on cadmium in women that started in Gothenburg, then expanded to Stockholm, Lund, and Umeå is under way. In 2007, a second round started in Gothenburg. A questionnaire is filled in concurrently with collection of a urine sample.
Organic compounds, especially persistent organic pollutants (POP), are of special interest and are included in one of SEPA’s subprograms (Table 4, #9.2). The subprogram includes different groups in the population. On military enlistment, young men are tested for persistent organic compounds in the body. Mercury content is measured in high consumers of fish, and the concentration of flame retardants is measured in samples of breast milk from women who breast-feed. The National Food Administration stores important data from control of pesticides in vegetables, where more than 2 000 samples are taken per year and residues from more than 200 different pesticides are analyzed. To date, no data have been analyzed and reported from this material, but it will be done in the first phase of this SEPA subprogram. Sampling of breast milk will continue with the intent to monitor organic environmental pollutants. Already existing is a long time series on the concentration of flame retardants and PCB in breast milk. Concurrently, samples will be transferred to the environmental sample bank at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM), which means that samples will be available for comparison in the future.
Studies of human exposure to cancer-inducing air pollutants (Table 4, #9.3) are being conducted in Gothenburg, Umeå, Stockholm, and other sites. The importance of smoking habits, traffic, and other potential sources will be determined for a better risk evaluation. Measurements will be conducted according to a rolling schedule, with one city at a time and a group of 40 randomly chosen people, 20 to 50 years of age. The background concentrations in air will be followed at the same time. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide is particularly severe during winter. An estimate of the number of people exposed to nitrogen dioxide concentrations in excess of current limits is performed every fifth year. An improved method of calculation, i.e. the urban model, has been used since winter 2006/2007. The urban model will also be used to calculate the number of people that are overexposed to particles.
Is updated every day during the season, 2002-2007
Temperature, Salinity, pH, Oxygen, Hydrogensulphide, Phosphate, Total-Phosphorous, Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonium, Total-Nitrogen, Alkalinity, Silicon, PON, POC, and Chlorophyll-a Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Bacterial plankton, Zoobentos, Phytobentos, Seal, Sea Eagle, Amphipod, Sedimentation, Primary production, Klorophyll
The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) maps ice extent and type for shipping and weather prognoses (Table 6, #4.1). The ice extent at sea is of great importance for navigation, and assistance from an icebreaker is often needed, especially for harbors in the Bothnian Bay. Hence, ice conditions are mapped daily during the winter period, normally from the end of November until the end of May. Ice meteorologists take advantage of detailed reports about ice type and ice thickness from observers along the coast, e.g. pilots, special ice observers, and from the icebreakers passing through the ice-covered sea. Observations from helicopters are part of the regular icebreaking activities. Satellite images, especially from US weather satellites (NOAA-15, NOAA16 and NOAA-17), complement the ice reports and provide information on the large-scale ice situation on the scale 1 km x 1 km during clear sky conditions. More detailed ice information, down to the scale 20 m x 20 m, can be retrieved from a satellite-based instrument called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). SAR sensors are also found onboard the Canadian RADARSAT (in operation since 1996) and on the European ENVISAT (since 2003) and provide information on the ice situation regardless of weather conditions and time of day. A good description of the ice situation is also needed as input data for weather prognosis models because the extent of sea ice has a major influence on weather (especially in coastal areas), and on temperature, cloudiness, and precipitation. Results from daily ice mapping are saved in a database from which e.g. climate statistics for the Baltic region may be generated.
The Seal and Sea Eagle subprogram (Table 4, #8.2.6) monitors marine top consumers as indicator species to assess harmful effects of environmental toxics. Hopefully, in the long run, the program will show that these species have natural reproduction, health, and population. At present the subprogram has no sampling network. In the Bothnian Bay, the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) monitors grey seals, ringed seals, and European sea eagles. These observations will show the state and trends of population size, development, and health of seals and of reproduction, population size, and development of European sea eagles. The aim of early warning is to detect changes in reproduction, health, survival, and population trends that may result from changes in the marine environment.
The Integrated Coastal Fish Monitoring subprogram (Table 4, #8.2.5) documents the composition of the stationary fish community as well as the growth, general health situation, and reproduction success of perch (Perca fluviatilis) and burbot (Lota lota) as indicators of environmental toxics. Fish from one site close to Umeå is sent to Gothenburg University for analysis of biochemical, physiological, histological and pathogenic variables in perch.
The Free Water Body subprogram (Table 4, #8.2.4) aims to describe the effects of primarily overfertilization by means of hydrographical, chemical, and biological methods. One part of the program collects samples as frequently as 18 to 25 times per year at a few sea and coastal stations. Another part collects samples only once per year, during winter, to map the extent of areas with low oxygen content and the size of the nutrient pool, which gives the prerequisites for algal bloom in spring.
Metals and Organic Environmental Pollutants subprogram (Table 4, #8.2.3) will report mainly on environmental toxics in biota in the large sea basins, of which the Bothnian Bay and the Gulf of Bothnia are the farthest north. Sea mussels, fish, and bird eggs are collected and analyzed for the content of metals and organic toxics. The material is then stored at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM) for possible later retrospective analyses.