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Air Pollution Summary 21

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Air Pollution Summary 21

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  • October 1999
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When looking at air pollution, we can see that there are many types, one type is acid rain. Scientists have discovered that air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels mainly in power stations and industry in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom and other economically developed countries is the major cause of acid rain. Acidic deposition or acid rain as it is commonly known occurs when emissions of sulphur dioxide (so2) and oxides of nitrogen (no) react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen and oxidants to form various acidic compounds, sunlight further accelerates this process with the introduction of heat. These compounds then fall to the earth in either wet form (such as rain, snow, and fog) or dry form (such as gas and particles). The wind then blows these acidic particles onto buildings, cars, homes and trees. In some instances, these gases and particles can then eat and corrode away the objects which they settle on.

There are many effects of acid rain all of which are very negative for the environment, one of these affects is the acidification of lakes and streams and trees at high elevations (for example, red spruce trees above 2,000 ft). acid rain primarily affects sensitive bodies of water those which rest atop soil with a limited ability to neutralize acidic compounds (called "buffering capacity"). Many lakes in the National Surface Water survey (NSWS) suffer from chronic acidity ,a condition in which water has a constantly low ph level. In some sensitive lakes in Scandinavia acidification has completely eradicated fish species, such as the brook trout leaving these lakes baron, in fact hundreds of lakes in Scandinavia surveyed by the NSWS have acidity levels indicative of chemical conditions for the survival of sensitive fish species.

Acid rain has been also implicated into causing the degradation of forests in Scandinavia and Bavaria in Germany, especially in the highly elevated pine forests in the Norway's mountainous...

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