Diffuse water pollution during recent extreme wet-weather in the UK: Environmental damage costs and insight into the future?

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhang, Y., Granger, S. J., Semenov, M. A., Upadhayay, H. and Collins, A. L. 2022. Diffuse water pollution during recent extreme wet-weather in the UK: Environmental damage costs and insight into the future? Journal of Cleaner Production. 338, p. 130633. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130633

AuthorsZhang, Y., Granger, S. J., Semenov, M. A., Upadhayay, H. and Collins, A. L.
Abstract

Periods of extreme wet-weather elevate agricultural diffuse water pollutant loads and climate projections for the UK suggest wetter winters. Within this context, we monitored nitrate and suspended sediment loss using a field and landscape scale platform in SW England during the recent extreme wet-weather of 2019–2020. We compared the recent extreme wet-weather period to both the climatic baseline (1981–2010) and projected near- (2041–2060) and far- (2071–2090) future climates, using the 95th percentiles of conventional rainfall indices generated for climate scenarios downscaled by the LARS-WG weather generator from the 19 global climate models in the CMIP5 ensemble for the RCP8.5 emission scenario. Finally, we explored relationships between pollutant loss and the rainfall indices. Grassland field-scale monthly average nitrate losses increased from 0.39- to 1.07 kg ha−1 (2016–2019) to 0.70–1.35 kg ha−1 (2019–2020), whereas losses from grassland ploughed up for cereals, increased from 0.63- to 0.83 kg ha−1 to 2.34–4.09 kg ha−1 . Nitrate losses at landscape scale increased during the 2019–2020 extreme wet-weather period to 2.04–4.54 kg ha−1 . Field-scale grassland monthly average sediment losses increased from 92- to 116 kg ha−1 (2016–2019) to 281–333 kg ha−1 (2019–2020), whereas corresponding losses from grassland converted to cereal production increased from 63- to 80 kg ha−1 to 2124–2146 kg ha−1. Landscape scale monthly sediment losses increased from 8- to 37 kg ha−1 in 2018 to between 15 and 173 kg ha−1 during the 2019–2020 wet-weather period. 2019–2020 was most representative of the forecast 95th percentiles of >1 mm rainfall for near- and far-future climates and this rainfall index was related to monitored sediment, but not nitrate, loss. The elevated suspended sediment loads generated by the extreme wet-weather of 2019–2020 therefore potentially provide some insight into the responses to the projected >1 mm rainfall extremes under future climates at the study location.

KeywordsWet-weather ; Climate change; Water quality; Nitrate; Suspended sediment
Year of Publication2022
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Journal citation338, p. 130633
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130633
Web address (URL)https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0959-6526(22)00274-8
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Accepted author manuscript
Supplemental file
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online23 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Jan 2022
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN0959-6526

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/987x8/diffuse-water-pollution-during-recent-extreme-wet-weather-in-the-uk-environmental-damage-costs-and-insight-into-the-future

Restricted files

Accepted author manuscript

Under embargo indefinitely

177 total views
289 total downloads
7 views this month
7 downloads this month
Download files as zip