Discover what's killing the trees

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 1997, 12:00am

Acid rain is one of the worst man-made disasters of modern times.

In fact, the problem now is worse than many scientists first predicted.

It shows no signs of abating in Europe or North America, despite the introduction of anti- pollution measures.

Acid rain is a much more complex phenomenon than previously thought. Fumes from traffic and factory chimneys carry chemicals into the air which then react to moisture. This produces nitric and sulphuric acid in rainwater.

This acid rain is having very harmful effects on the world's forests.

One Web site which deals with the problem in Canada can be found at aeb/ssd/acid/poster1.html.

It reveals that the average acid precipitation during 1992 at the Kejimkujik National Park in southwestern Nova Scotia had a pH of 4.57 - this is equal to the mean pH over the 13 previous years.

Another address for those interested in acid rain is


Information on marine fog chemistry and acid deposition at two coastal sites in Atlantic Canada can be found at atox/aciddep.html.

Acid rain usually forms high in the clouds where sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water, oxygen and oxidants. For more details on acid rain formation, go to http: //

You also can visit /ssd/acid/acidfaq.html, where there is a list of frequently asked questions with succinct answers.

Similar information is available at;; and timeline/acidrain/more.html.

At, there are a variety of educational resources for students and teachers. From there, you can discover more links to the other acid-rain-related Web sites.

Acid Rain Program's Homepage at http:// provides information on various measures aimed at significantly reducing emissions responsible for acid deposition.

In addition, there is a big student resource bank about acid rain ideal for those wanting to learn more.

It includes details of numerous experiments.

If you want to know how to test rainwater, check out

That site also will show you how to carry out other simple experiments and hence you can get a much deeper insight into the problem. The prevalence of Web sites seems to suggest more people are becoming informed about acid rain.