The Fine Resolution Atmospheric Multi-pollutant Exchange model was used to calculate the mean annual concentration of PM2.5 at a resolution of 5 km × 5 km for the United Kingdom (UK) and Poland for the year 2007. The modelled average PM2.5 concentration is higher for Poland than the UK and amounts to 9.2 µg · m−3 and 5.6 µg · m−3, respectively. The highest concentrations concern London and coastal areas (due to the sea salt contribution) for the UK and urban agglomerations in the case of Poland. Maximum values occurring close to the UK coastline can reach 18 µg · m−3. The average contribution of natural particles amounts to 34 and 20% of total PM2.5 concentration, respectively for the UK and Poland. Among anthropogenic particles for both countries the highest contribution falls on secondary inorganic aerosols and the lowest contribution is for secondary organic aerosols.
Sulphur and nitrogen deposition were calculated with the FRAME model and used to assess the exceedances of the critical loads for acidification and eutrophication of natural ecosystems in Poland. For the first time two tools: the FRAME and SONOX models were used jointly to provide information on ecosystems at risk. The FRAME model obtained close agreement with available sulphur and nitrogen wet deposition measurements. The total mass of sulphur deposited in Poland in year 2008 was estimated as 292 Gg S. Total deposition of nitrogen (oxidized + reduced) is 389 Gg N. 11% of the ecosystems in Poland were calculated to be at risk of acidification due to deposition of sulphur and nitrogen. In the case of eutrophication, over 95% of terrestrial ecosystems are at risk due to the large deposition of nitrogen compounds.
We have compared historical changes in concentrations of the heavy metals Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb accumulated in samples from the Polish woodlands of Beskidy and Karkonosze (S, SE Poland) and the north-east regions of the country, versus the relatively little polluted areas of Spitsbergen of the Svalbard Archipelago. We have combined the results from literature with new results from 2014. The regions of Beskidy and Karkonosze were the most exposed to heavy metals deposition. However, from 1975 to 2014 there was a considerable decrease of concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb at all Polish sites, clearly signifying improvement of environmental quality. For example, the average Cd concentration in mosses samples collected in Karkonosze decreased from 0.002 mg/g in 1975 to 0.0006 mg/g in 2014. It is interesting to observe relatively large concentrations of nickel in moss samples collected in 2014 in the Svalbard archipelago, in the vicinity of Longyearbyen (average 0.018 mg/g) which most likely originate from local mine waste piles.