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The ratio of actual to saturated vapour pressure is called the relative humidity hr, often expressed as a percentage. If water vapour is evaporated into dry air (for example, as the air blows over the sea surface or above a grassy plain), then the vapour pressure will increase towards es, but cannot exceed it. If air is cooled, for example by being lifted in the atmosphere, then a temperature will be reached at which the air is saturated due to its original water content. Any further cooling results in the ‘excess’ water being condensed out as cloud droplets.

As with SO2 and ammonia, there are large variations in emission density with location – by a factor of at least 30 between the heavily populated regions of the Netherlands, Germany and the UK on the one hand, and sparsely inhabited regions such as Scandinavia and northern Scotland on the other. In Asia, just three countries (China, India and Japan) accounted for over 75% of total energy consumption in 1990, with hard coal predominating. 3 Tg from large point sources. By 2020, total energy use is expected to increase by a factor of over four, with oil and gas taking an increasing share of the market.

The pattern is reflected in emission estimates for other countries – the percentages due to cattle, sheep and pigs are around 88 in Germany, 94 in the Netherlands and 83 in Japan. The total European emission is about 7 Mt NH3 yearϪ1, of which some 80% is thought to be due to animal manure from intensive livestock production. This agricultural connection has a sharp influence on the geographical distribution of sources. Unlike emissions of NO or SO2, those of ammonia are at their greatest in rural areas associated with intensive livestock production – the Netherlands, northern parts of Germany and France, South-west and North-west England, Wales and Ireland.

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