Acid Rain

Acid rain is a serious problem with disastrous effects. Each day
this serious problem increases, many people believe that this issue
is too small to deal with right now this issue should be met head
on and solved before it is too late. In the following paragraphs I
will be discussing the impact has on the wildlife and how our
atmosphere is being destroyed by acid rain.


Acid rain is a cancer eating into the face of Eastern Canada and
the North Eastern United States. In Canada, the main sulphuric acid
sources are non©ferrous smelters and power generation. On both
sides of the border, cars and trucks are the main sources for
nitric acid(about 40% of the total), while power generating plants
and industrial commercial and residential fuel combustion together
contribute most of the rest. In the air, the sulphur dioxide and
nitrogen oxides can be transformed into sulphuric acid and nitric
acid, and air current can send them thousands of kilometres from
the source.When the acids fall to the earth in any form it will
have large impact on the growth or the preservation of certain


Areas in Ontario mainly southern regions that are near the Great
Lakes, such substances as limestone or other known antacids can
neutralize acids entering the body of water thereby protecting it.
However, large areas of Ontario that are near the Pre©Cambrian
Shield, with quartzite or granite based geology and little top
soil, there is not enough buffering capacity to neutralize even
small amounts of acid falling on the soil and the lakes. Therefore
over time, the basic environment shifts from an alkaline to a
acidic one. This is why many lakes in the Muskoka,
Haliburton, Algonquin, Parry Sound and Manitoulin districts could
lose their fisheries if sulphur emissions are not reduced


The average mean of pH rainfall in Ontario\'s Muskoka©Haliburton
lake country ranges between 3.95 and 4.38 about 40 times more
acidic than normal rainfall, while storms in Pennsilvania have
rainfall pH at 2.8 it almost has the same rating for vinegar.

Already 140 Ontario lakes are completely dead or dying. An
additional 48 000 are sensitive and vulnerable to acid rain due
to the surrounding concentrated acidic soils.‘


Canada does not have as many people, power plants or automobiles as
the United States, and yet acid rain there has become so severe
that Canadian government officials called it the most pressing
environmental issue facing the nation. But it is important to bear
in mind that acid rain is only one segment, of the widespread
pollution of the atmosphere facing the world. Each year the global
atmosphere is on the receiving end of 20 billion tons of carbon
dioxide, 130 million tons of suffer dioxide, 97 million tons of
hydrocarbons, 53 million tons of nitrogen oxides, more than three
million tons of arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, zinc and
other toxic metals, and a host of synthetic organic compounds
ranging from polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs) to toxaphene and other
pesticides, a number of which may be capable of causing cancer,
birth defects, or genetic imbalances.


Interactions of pollutants can cause problems. In addition to
contributing to acid rain, nitrogen oxides can react with
hydrocarbons to produce ozone, a major air pollutant responsible in
the United States for annual losses of $2 billion to 4.5 billion
worth of wheat, corn, soyabeans, and peanuts. A wide range of
interactions can occur many unknown with toxic metals.

In Canada, Ontario alone has lost the fish in an estimated 4000
lakes and provincial authorities calculate that Ontario stands to
lose the fish in 48 500 more lakes within the next twenty years if
acid rain continues at the present rate.Ontario is not alone, on
Nova Scotia\'s Eastern most shores, almost every river flowing to
the Atlantic Ocean is poisoned with acid. Further threatening a $2
million a year fishing industry.

Acid rain is killing more than lakes. It can scar the leaves of
hardwood forest, wither ferns and lichens, accelerate the death of
coniferous needles, sterilize seeds, and weaken the forests to a
state that is vulnerable to disease infestation and decay. In the
soil the acid neutralizes chemicals vital for growth, strips others
from the soil and carries them to the lakes and literally retards
the respiration of the soil. The rate of forest growth in the White
Mountains of New Hampshire has declined 18% between 1956 and 1965,
time of increasingly intense acidic rainfall.
Acid rain no longer falls exclusively on the lakes, forest, and
thin soils of the Northeast it now covers half the continent.


There is evidence that the rain is destroying the productivity