What are the main causes of acid rain in Europe?
- Acid rain is caused by the release of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons
into the atmosphere from oil and coal power stations, industry, car exhausts and houses
that burn fossil fuels.
- The worst polluters are: the Czech Republic (all its power stations burn coal), Germany
Acid Rain in Europe
What are the effects of acid rain in Europe?
- The death of the Black Forest in Germany. Acid rain damages the needles of the pine trees.
This reduces the trees uptake of nutrients because important nutrients are dissolved and
washed out of the soil in a process called leaching.
- 20,000 lakes in Sweden and Norway have been affected with fish and other aquatic life have
- Stone buildings and monuments in Europe’s big cities have been corroded.
- In the worst polluted areas like the Czech Republic acid mists and smog in industrial towns
cause health problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
How is the problem managed?
One of the problems of acid rain is that it is an international problem because one countries
pollution can cause acid rain which affects another country. For example much as the UK’s air
pollution is blown over to Norway and Sweden by the wind.
DEALING WITH THE CAUSES:
- Governments in EU countries have agreed on strict targets to reduce their emissions of the main
acid rain gases.
- Cutting vehicle emissions by cutting down on car use and encouraging use of public transport.
- Moving away from fossil fuel power stations to renewable forms of energy e.g. wind power
- Putting filters on chimneys
- Fining ‘dirty’ factories
DEALING WITH THE EFFECTS:
- Spreading lime over lakes and forests.