Acid Rain

Third of China 'hit by acid rain'
  One third of China is suffering from acid rain caused by rapid industrial growth.   Pollution levels have risen and air quality has deteriorated.
  In the latest incident, a reservoir serving 100,000 people in north-west China was polluted by a chemical spill. The pollution inspection report to the standing committee of parliament found that 25.5 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide were spewed out, mainly from the country's coal-burning factories last year - up 27% from 2000. Emissions of sulphur dioxide - the chemical that causes acid rain - were double the safe level, the report said. In some areas, rainfall was 100% acid rain, it added.
  In July, China announced it planned to spend 1.4 trillion yuan ($175bn) over the next five years on protecting its environment.
Last Updated: Sunday, 27 August 2006, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK |

Effects of Acid Rain
As this acidic liquid flows into larger bodies of water, it is diluted but over time, acids can accrue and lower the overall pH of the body. Acid deposition also causes clay soils to release aluminum and magnesium further lowering the pH in some areas. If the pH of a lake drops below 4.8, its plants and animals risk death.
  In addition, acid deposition can significantly impact forests. As acid rain falls on trees, it can make them lose their leaves, damage their bark, and stunt their growth. By damaging these parts of the tree, it makes them vulnerable to disease, extreme weather, and insects. Acid falling on a forest’s soil is also harmful because it disrupts soil nutrients; kills microorganisms in the soil, and can sometimes cause a calcium deficiency. Trees at high altitudes are also susceptible to problems induced by acidic cloud cover as the moisture in the clouds blankets them.
  Finally, acid deposition also has an impact on architecture and art. As acid lands on buildings it reacts with minerals in the stones sometimes causing it to disintegrate and wash away. Acid deposition...