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Issue report on Acid rain

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Acid rain - a problem for the past or the future? Acid rain as a pollutant has been recognised for centuries as a major hazard to the environment. Formed from the oxidation of nitrogen oxides & sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere, environmentalists are becoming increasing concerned over its environmental damage and the feasible solutions rather than the political dilemma it is creating. The worsening damage to forest and lake areas in regions of Europe are being contained, although concern has been put into when and how we are going to reduce our fossil fuel emissions as a result of increased human activity that is causing excessive emissions of these harmful gases. Although the gases are released naturally in the environment, such as through volcanic eruptions, increased human activity is taking its toll on the environment. It is important that long and short term measures are quickly sought to repair the existing damage and that governments and individuals together realize the importance of our actions on the fragile environment Plants, for example survive in a fragile environment and the slightest change in it can cause an effect. ...read more.


Although it doesn't affect humans directly, the particulate matter (that includes smoke and sea salt etc) that is associated with acid rain could contribute to leaching of toxins such as mercury that could be carried by runoff into water, contributing to environmental sources of this toxin�. Far worse, the increasing incidents of respiratory problems possibly caused by the inhalation of tiny particles of sulphur and other pollutants, particularly from vehicle emissions has caused great concern�. Aquatic plants and animals thrive in a narrow range of pH levels. They can vary drastically to slight changes, with some species more acid-tolerant than others. As a result of acidified lakes, organisms lower down in the food chain may decrease in number and those species higher up in the chain will be affected�. The combined effects of low pH and high concentrates of aluminium can produce conditions that are toxic to some species of fish. Effects can be gill irritation and difficulty in regulation of blood sugar levels. It is also believed that afforestation can accelerate the release of acids and poisonous metals into the water. Possibly, this is due to the increased leaching of certain elements such as calcium, which would otherwise help protect against the toxic acids. ...read more.


Adding lime repairs damages but is not a permanent solution. �Some governments have also introduced taxes to help control emissions. For example, leaded fuel now costs more than unleaded. In Denmark, a tax has been introduced on the amount of SO2 emitted, so now it costs polluters more to buy coal for power stations and cheaper to use less polluting sources such as natural gas to encourage users to change their energy sources. Incentives have also been considered in Japan and the USA. The government would encourage companies to use cleaner methods by reducing the price or placing a 'subsidy' on wind, solar and other forms of renewable energies. It is also important that as individuals we try to take actions. However, most environmental problems are caused by the actions of millions of individual people. Therefore, what is important is that we reduce our contribution to the problems and aid in the solution. New political goals have also been set such as to reduce S02 and NOx emissions such as the SO2 Protocol in Norway�. Sources: http://www.enviropedia.org.uk/Acid_Rain (0) http://www.studyzones.com/ActivityZone/ArticleView.cfm/SelectedObjectUUID/CBAAFA3E- 2FD1D-11D4-B1C800B0D049C8DF/Page/2.htm (United Kingdom acid waters review group) (1) https://www.grida.no/soeno98/acidrain/index/htm (2) http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/332.html (3) Issue Acid rain 2 biological aspects The effects on the environment and the possible solutions Main aspect The effects on the environment Word count (Total) 1500 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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