Atmospheric pollution is the release of a harmful chemical or material into the atmosphere. The consequences can be devastating - carbon dioxide, for example, is one of the major causes of climate change, while nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide combine to form harmful acid rain. Not all pollution is directly man-made, however, such as the release of ammonia from livestock. Ammonia is toxic to many aquatic animals and can lead to soil acidification and smog.

Atmospheric pollution is also harmful to human health. It has driven cancer to be the main cause of death in China, the poster country for smog, and more than half of Americans are breathing unacceptable standards of air. In the UK alone it is thought that air pollution causes  29,000 deaths every year.

CEH work on atmospheric pollution


Monitoring Sites

Research Facilities

Solardomes at the Air Pollution Facility
Ozone and nitrogen pollution impacts on ecosystems, food security and human health in a changing climate – a National Capability programme
Dr Toby Marthews, a land surface modeller at CEH, speaks at the High Impact Weather conference
CEH scientists at 3-day conference
Austria Center Vienna photo: Marcus Winter (CC BY-SA 2.0)
International geosciences conference
eLTER H2020 project logo
Integrated European Long-Term Ecosystem & Socio-Ecological Research Infrastructure
2 surveyors on the GMEP monitoring project
Gwerthuso cynllun adnoddau a gwasanaethau amgylcheddol mwyaf Cymru
Slabs of ribeye steak
Launch of Nitrogen on the Table report at the European Parliament