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Acid Rain.

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The process Power stations/ cars burn fossil fuels and releases sulphur dioxide (SO2) + Nitrogen Oxide (NOX) in the atmosphere. Gases react in the upper atmosphere water vapour in clouds to acid. Falls as H2SO4 (Acid Rain) Main Sources of SO2 NOX Source Amount Power station 61% 46% Refineries/Industry 28% Domestic (Houses) 5% 23% Commercial & Public 4% 3% Transport 2% 28% The causes of acid rain is down to emission of pollutants from ~ combustion of fossil fuels ~ industrial processes ~ Transport sector Especially SO2 & Nox Some countries have suffered more than others. Some of them are net importers and others are net exporters. The effects of acid rain are ~ Direct impact on vegetation as a result of exposure to acid solution ~ Percolation of acid rain through soil increases teaching of nutrients, so soil becomes less fertile. ...read more.


The Germans call this "Waldsterben". 4000 lakes are devoid of fish in Sweden. There has been a drastic decline of otters in UK. This is due to lack of fish What can be done? Normal rain is already slightly acidic in the region of about 5.6ph. Nowadays extremes of ph in our rainfall have measured 3ph or ph 4. The environment economic, social and political implications are serious. What can be done? The first action was taken by environmental pressure groups in the late 70's and early 80's with their "stop acid rain!" campaign. By this time net importers of acid rain already identified signs of ecological disaster. These countries began to mobilise and here are some significant dates: 1984: Scandinavian countries signed an informal agreement to reduce SO2, emmitions by 30%. ...read more.


At last there are a number of conventions and plans to reduce levels of acid rain around the world. There are two ways to solve this they are either avoiding the illness or treat the symptoms. Avoiding the illness ~ Change energy sources ~Fit pollution control equipment e.g. filters i.e. flue gas desulphurisation (Flue gas) (All new power stations now have this equipment ~Increase efficiency/ conservation methods Treating the symptoms ~ Treat lakes with powdered limestone but costly and only short term ~ Shells placed in water causes to produce calcium carbonate over time NB. To achieve EC directive levels Britain's bill for fitting flue gas desulphurisation equipment is about �2billion (that could be a reason why the government was slow to accept that acid rain was a problem. They need a lot of limestone to FGD operation this limestone is mined in National park. ...read more.

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