Policy ForumAtmospheric Science

From Acid Rain to Climate Change

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Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1153-1154
DOI: 10.1126/science.1226514

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The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was established in 1979 to control damage to ecosystems and cultural heritage from acid rain, initially in Europe (1). Extended by eight protocols, most recently the Gothenburg Protocol (GP) signed in 1999, it has been key for developing cross-border air pollution control strategies over the UNECE region, which includes the United States and Canada. We describe how recent amendments to the GP reflect improved scientific knowledge on pollution, environmental relations, and links between regional air pollution and global climate change.