Acid rain is responsible for severe environmental destruction across the world and occurs most commonly in the North Eastern United States, Eastern Europe and increasingly in parts of China and India.Apr 30, 2018
Places significantly impacted by acid rain around the globe include most of eastern Europe from Poland northward into Scandinavia, the eastern third of the United States, and southeastern Canada. Other affected areas include the southeastern coast of China and Taiwan.
The region of the United States most harmed by acid rain is the East Coast, including the Appalachian Mountains and the Northeast.
The damage is often greatest in mountainous regions, because these areas often receive more acid deposition than lower areas and the winter environment is more extreme. Mountainous regions are subjected to highly acidic cloud and fog water along with other environmental stresses.
The states listed as extremely vulnerable to the effects of acid rain and the average pH of rainfall were Connecticut, 4.4; Kentucky, 4.4; Maine, 4.4; Massachusetts, 4.1; Michigan, 4.4; New Hampshire, 4.3; New Jersey, 4.3; New York, 4.2; North Carolina, 4.4; Pennsylvania, 4.2; Rhode Island, 4.4; South Carolina, 4.6; …
Acid rain damages buildings and structures because it dissolves the stone or corrodes the metal that is exposed to the weather. Before people became aware of the problems that acid rain caused, they often used metals, limestone and marble as building materials exposed to rain and fog.
At the end of the last century, a great environmental crisis came from above in the form of acid rain. … A 1984 Congressional report estimated that acid rain caused the premature death of about 50,000 people in the United States and Canada.
Holmes said studies so far show California’s rain is most acidic in Southern California: the Los Angeles Basin–including the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys and the San Bernardino-Riverside region–and Santa Barbara.
The reason: There is no acid rain in South Carolina because the state has no problem with sulfur dioxide. Winds generally blow anything in South Carolina’s air out to sea, not to nearby states.
Associated with rapid economic development, acid deposition has become a major issue in Asia, especially in East Asia. Generally, surface waters in Asia are not as sensitive to acid deposition in comparison with soil.
Causes of acid rain
The biggest sources are coal-burning power plants, factories, and automobiles. When humans burn fossil fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into the atmosphere.
Acid rain from man-made causes is very rare in Hawaii, because our geographic isolation in the central north Pacific is such that we are removed from most of the problematic point-sources of acid precurser gasses (oxides of nitrogen and sulfur) to the atmosphere.
Acid rain that seeps into the ground can dissolve nutrients, such as magnesium and calcium, that trees need to be healthy. Acid rain also causes aluminum to be released into the soil, which makes it difficult for trees to take up water. … The acidic clouds and fog strip important nutrients from their leaves and needles.
International agreements on acid rain have improved soil conditions in European forests. The amount of sulphate, nutrients and aluminium have decreased in the water present in Europe’s forest soils, due to reductions in sulphur emissions to the atmosphere.
Recently emerging evidence suggests that acid rain may be playing a role in an observed decline in the health and growth rate of forests of the Eastern United States. Acid rain may also be damaging crops, eroding buildings and threatening public health, according to some research.
Very strong acids will burn if they touch your skin and can even destroy metals. Acid rain is much, much weaker than this; it is never acidic enough to burn your skin. Rain is always slightly acidic because it mixes with naturally occurring oxides in the air.
Southern California’s fog contains nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which oxidize to form ”acid fog,” according to California Institute of Technology researcher Michael Hoffmann. … Further north in Bakersfield, the fog measures 3 pH, while San Francisco’s famous fog rates much lower with 3.8 to 4 pH.
Water pollution in San Diego is widely discussed. The area is home to multiple sources of urban runoff, acid rain, and can also have water quality issues with wildfire fallout.
‘Typical acid fogs have measured as acidic as lemon juice, about 100 to 1,000 times more acidic than unpolluted clean rainfall and about 10 times more acidic than acid rain.
In the Western Sun Belt, scientists have found that the same acid comes boiling out of clouds of sulfur dioxide from copper smelters in Arizona and from smokestacks across the border in Mexico, whose government does not require antipollution equipment. …
Acid in the atmosphere falls on Central New York more heavily than almost anywhere in the nation. “New York state has some of the most sensitive and highly impacted areas in the country,” said Rona Birnbaum, chief of assessment and communications for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acid rain program.
The “Black Triangle” area (covering northern Bohemia, southern Saxony and part of lower Silesia) has been one of the most polluted areas in Central Europe. The area was named mainly because of high emissions of sulfur and dust.
— In Poland, 7 percent of forest land is known to be affected, although environmentalists estimate the real level might be as high as 40 percent. Areas of Czechoslovakia have been reduced to acidified wastelands, and acid-rain damage is reported in Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary.
One-third of China is impacted by acid rain according to officials quotes Sunday by state media. … “Increased sulphur dioxide emissions meant that one-third of China’s territory was affected by acid rain, posing a major threat to soil and food safety,” said Sheng according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The Hubbard Brook study also found that acid and toxic aluminum in streams and lakes continue to kill fish and other life. For about two decades, scientists in the central and southern Appalachians have been observing tree death in the higher mountains, from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.
Acidic deposition (acid rain) threatens the AT’s natural resources. Acid rain is a result of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) compounds produced from fossil fuel combustion, motor vehicles, and agricultural practices. … Further, there are numerous S and N emission sources across the region.
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