Critical loads are used to define the amount of pollution different ecosystems can absorb without damage to the natural environment. In Norway, the area where critical loads are exceeded has decreased since 1980. In 1980 critical loads were exceeded in 30 percent of the total area. In 2005, the area was reduced to 10 percent. Similar figures for 2012 were 8 per cent. The map below shows the reductions in areas where critical loads were exceeded in Norway from 1978 to 2012. New figures will be published in 2017.