A Grave Ecological Problem - Acid rain

               The phenomenon of acid rain is fast becoming a grave ecological problem, threading forests, farms, human health and aquatic life. Dying forests in west Germany, barren lake in North America despoiled monuments in India and degrading farmlands in Brazil all point out to the rapidly expanding menace of acid rain caused by the pollutants emitted by fossil fuel based industries.

               Scientist say that acid rain is made up of 65% sulfuric acid, 30% nitric acid and 5% hydrochloric acid, Sweden was first to recognize the threat of acid rain in mid sixties. Acid rain was first raised as an International problem at the UN conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. Since then it has developed into a major environmental issue.

              Something like 60 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide is produce in Europe every year. Of this, the united kingdom alone accounts for 4 million tonnes. Similarly, oxides of nitrogen coming from automobile exhaust and high temperature combustion engines are converted into nitric acid in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The atmosphere has its own mechanism of dumping back unwanted pollutants through rain and wind. And acid rain fallout is one of the channel through which the atmosphere keeps itself free of pollutants.

            Sweden and Canada are perhaps the worst victims of acid rains. Both these countries are victims of the industrial pollutants into the atmosphere from neighboring countries. While, Canada gets acid rains as a result of pollution caused by gigatic petro chemical unit in neighbor country, Sweden blames factories in his neighbor countries. After all pollutants are not expected to respect national boundaries. Scientist from Norway and Sweden say that acid rain mainly brought by the wind blowing from heavily industrialized Europe has caused at least 20% reduction in timber growth in the Scandinavian Region