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Acid rain

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

acid rain Introduction The French chemist Ducros first used the term 'pluie acide' in 1845. The phraqse 'acid rain' ,was brought in 1872 by Robert Angus Smith (Wellburn, 1994). Back in fifties, there were observations of lakes in Scandinavia losing their fish populations. Anglers and naturalists noticed that fish stocks in many lakes of southern Scandinavia were diminishing. Freshwater acidification had rapidly worsened over a few decades. Although acid rain and the acidification are a not new problem that has received considerable attention for many years, it was not until 1960s that scientists were able to link these effects to any specific cause. Later it was found to be atmospheric pollution. Acidification is not a regional phenomenon. In Scotland, studies show that the acidification began around the middle of the last centuries and the process has accelerated in the last three decades. In southern Norway, It has reported that 87 lakes had a pH below 5.5 (Mason, 1996). Damaged forests were becoming widespread in West Germany. As these examples show, acidification is an international problem. Pollutants may be carried with winds over distances, from points hundreds or thousands of miles away. Some countries are net importers of pollution, and others are exporters. The effects of acidification are varies, not only pollution of lakes and forests as previously mentioned, but also effects on fauna and flora, soil, groundwater and direct or indirect harm on human health, and all things are influenced by water quality through hydrological pathway (Thunberg, 1993). The aim of this report is to discuss causes and effects of acidification that has been concerned until now, and present possible short-term and long-term solution to acid deposition effects on water quality 1. ...read more.

Middle

Extensive clear cutting can also accelerate the acidification of surface water. Applying acidifying fertilizer also helps to acidify soil and water (Thunberg, 1993). Twelve years studies of acidification-induced chemical changes in soils of Norway spruce and Scot pine in southern Sweden reveals that pH in mineral soil decreased on average 0.17 units between 1988 and 1999. It is said that these changes in forest soil are mainly due to the extensive deposition of acidifying substances (sulphur and nitrogen compounds) during the latter part of the 20th century (J�nsson et al, 2003). In addition, atmospheric pollution directly damages forest itself. Since the early 1970s, West Germany has experienced a rapid and widespread decline in the health of its forest trees; especially sensitive species were affected by exposure to low levels of pollutants (Ling et al, 1987). 2.5 Groundwater quality Most of the precipitation sinks to some extent into the ground. The more permeable the soil, the more water dribbles down. Normally acid rain will become less acid as it penetrates through the ground. However, where the soil becomes acidified and has less ability to neutralize, the effect will be decrease until it finally ceases. It is unlikely that acid groundwater will be harmful to human health, however toxic heavy metals, such as aluminium and cadmium may appear at elevated level where highly acidic. These metals are harmful for human health (Thunberg, 1993). 3. Solutions Solutions to the problems of acidification fall into two groups, which are cure and prevention. Remedial measures can be applied where the problems actually arise (i.e. ...read more.

Conclusion

Preventive measures have been adopted for preventing further damages. In attempts to make steadily progress for both redemption and prevention for solution of acidification for water quality, use of combination of short-term and long-term solution will be recommended. A. Wellburn (1994), Air pollution and climate change : The biological impact. Longman Scientific Technical. New York B. Thunberg (1993), Acidification and air pollution. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Solna C.F. Mason (1996), Biology of freshwater pollution. Longman Group limited, Essex D.C Bradley and S.J.Ormerod (2002), Long-term effects of catchment liming on invertebrates in upland streams, Freshwater Biology 47: 161-171 E. Tipping, R.Bettney, M.A. Hurley, F. Isgren, J.B James, A.J Lawlor, S. Lofts, E. Rigg, B.M.Simon, E.J. Smith and C. Woof (2000), Reversal of acidification in tributaries of the River Duddon (English lake district) between 1970 and 1998, Environmental Pollution 109: 183-191 U.J�nsson, U.Rosengren, G.Thelin and B. Nihlgard (2003), Acidification-induced chemical changes in coniferous forest soils in southern Sweden 1988-1999, Environmental Pollution 123: 75-83 J.A.Carrol, S.J.M.Caprn, D.Johnson. M.D. Morecroft and J.A. Lee(2003), The interactions between plant growth, vegetation structure and soil process in semi-natural acidic and calcareous grasslands receiving long-term inputs of simulated pollutant nitrogen deposition, Environmental Pollution 121: 363-376 C. Park (1987), Acid rain - Rhetoric and reality, Richard Clay Ltd, Suffolk T.Hill, P.Whitehead and C.Neal (2002), Modelling long-term stream acidification in the chemically heterogeneous upper seven catchment, Mid-Wales, The science of the total environment 286: 215-232 R.C.Ferrier, A.Jenkins, R.F. Wright, W.Sch�pp and H.Barth (2001), Assessment of recovery of European surface waters from acidification 1970-2000: An Introduction to the special issue, Hydrology and earth system sciences 5(3): 274-282 K.A Ling and M.R. Ashmore (1987), Acid rain and trees, Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough J.T.Turk and N.E.Spahr (1989), Chemistry of Rocky Mountain Lakes, Springer-Verlag, New York ...read more.

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