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How Acid Rain Affects the Aquatic Ecosystem

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How Acid Rain Affects the Aquatic Ecosystem

Abstract

This paper shows that acid rain is a reality. It is destroying our freshwater ecosystems and must be stopped in order to save them. If the problem is not fixed soon the aquatic ecosystems will be destroyed.

Table of Contents

1. What is acid rain?

2. Acidification of Freshwater

3. Effects of Freshwater Acidification

4. Where is Affected the most?

5. What is being done to fix it?

6. Conclusion

7. References

What is acid rain?

Acid rain is polluted rain, snow, or fog. The burning of fossil fuels, base metal smelting, and fuel combustion in vehicles emits sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) (FAQ Acid Rain). These gases enter the atmosphere and transform into sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3), which then acidify the water vapor. The acidified water vapor will then fall to the earth as acid rain, snow, or fog (Acid Rain and the Aquatic). This is called ìwet depositionî. There is also ìdry depositionî which falls to the ground in particulate form (FAQ Acid Rain).

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Acidification of Freshwater

The acidification of freshwater lakes and streams is not a new problem. Fish stocks probably died out in many lakes in Norway as early as the turn of the century. In the 1950ís and 1960ís this was finally associated to acid rain. Yet, it wasn't generally accepted by scientists until the 1970ís (Rivers and Lakes).

Acid rain either falls directly onto the lake or enters through the catchment (Buchdahl). A very small percentage enters directly so the majority enters through the catchment. The alkaline rich catchments can neutralize the rain. However, not all types of bedrock have the same capability of neu...

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...Available http://kola.dcu.ie/~enfo/bs/bs14.htm, October 27, 1998.

Acid Rain In Pennsylvania. [Online] Available wysiwyg://115/http://www.dep.state.pa....tate/airwaste/aq/factsheets/fs2036.htm, November 3, 1998.

Buchdahl, Joe. Freshwater Acidification. [Online] Available http://www.doc.mmu.ac.uk/aric/freshwat.html, October 28, 1998.

Effects of Acid Rain on Water. [Online] Available http://epa.gov/acidrain/student/water.html, October 27, 1998.

FAQ Acid Rain. [Online] Available http://www.madison.k12.wi.us/stugeon/acfacts.htm, October, 28, 1998.

Krabbenhoft, D.P. and D.A. Rickert. Mercury Contamination of Aquatic Ecosystems. [Online] Available http://wwwdwimdn.er.usgs.gov/pubs/FS-216-95/index.html, October 27, 1998.

Rivers and Lakes are Dying. [Online] Available http://odin.dep.no/html/nofovalt/depter/md/publ/acid/Rivers.html, October 27, 1998.
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