Elizabeth Fonseca
January 2024

Air quality and biodiversity impacts of future agricultural scenarios in the UK: How spatial modelling provides policy insights

Agriculture is the main source of ammonia emissions in the UK.  These emissions result in both particulate air pollution and terrestrial eutrophication from the deposition of reactive nitrogen onto sensitive habitats.  The Government has set targets and identified technical measures to tackle this directly, but even if these targets are met, ammonia emissions will continue to have widespread health and environmental impacts.  Agriculture is also the main land use in the UK.  This means changes to land use can alter the location and magnitude of ammonia emissions and its effects.  Spatial modelling can be used to test the impact of future land use scenarios and help us to better understand where changes can have the biggest impact on health and the environment.

This webinar explored the different land use changes being taken forward to meet Net Zero climate commitments in the UK, like afforestation and peatland restoration.  How agriculture may change to meet future nutritional needs will also be discussed.  A case study was presented on how these changes can be spatially modelled to provide insights on what they could mean for air quality, biodiversity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

This webinar is part of the Institute of Air Quality Management's (IAQM) webinar series. Find out more about the IAQM.