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Acid Rain

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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(c)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(c)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(c)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.Ф


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




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