Acid Rain 12


Lake Barkevatn in Aust-Agder county used to have healthy stocks of trout and perch. As a result of acid rain, the trout stock died out in the mid-1970s and the perch stock at the beginning of the 1980s.
Precipitation that is polluted by sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) is known as acid rain.
Acidity is measured in pH units: the lower the pH, the more acidic the substance. Unpolluted rain has a pH of roughly 5.6, but there are natural variations. Acid rain and snow, with a pH of about 4.4, has fallen in southern Norway for many years, causing serious environmental damage in many areas. The severity of the damage depends more on the total input of sulphur and nitrogen ...

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from the reductions in emissions.
Estimates of how much pollution the environment can absorb without damage are called critical loads.
Sulphur, like nitrogen, is essential to all animals and plants. The natural sulphur cycle includes volcanic emissions, sulphate in sea salts, and sulphur compounds produced by marine organisms. On a global basis, emissions from such sources are of about the same order of magnitude as those from the combustion of fossil fuels (coal and oil), but like many other essential substances, sulphur is harmful in excessive amounts. Much of Europe and North America is suffering from sulphur deposition that exceeds critical loads as a result of the large amounts of such compounds generated by human activity. Critical loads are exceeded across more than one-third of Norwegian territory. Coal-fired power stations account for a large proportion of sulphur emissions in Europe.
Nitrogen oxides (NOX) react to form nitric acid, another important component ...

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rain leaches acid components out of the soil and transports them to the rivers.
TOXIC WATER
The chemical content of acid rain is in itself dangerous to fish and other freshwater organisms. Another, equally important reason why fish populations are depleted, impoverished or, as is often the case, wiped out altogether, is that acid water leaches toxic aluminium from the soils and bedrock where it naturally occurs in large amounts. The combination of low pH and the presence of aluminium kills trout, char, salmon, perch and other fish in Norwegian waters. Spawn and fry are the most vulnerable stages. Salmon and rainbow trout have a lower tolerance for acid water than a number of other ...

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Added: 12/30/2003 12:57:29 PM
Category: Science & Nature
Words: 1314
Pages: 5

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