Sunday 8 July 2012


Three hundred million years ago vast areas of the earth were forested.  When the trees fell they were gradually transformed into seams of fossil fuels: coal and oil.

Today we mine and burn fossil fuels in emormous quantities to generate electricity, heat our homes and power our factories.  Unfortantly burning coal and oil releases huge amounts of pollutants into the air.  Taller chimneys only spread them farther over the countryside.

When air pollutants from factories and the buring of fossil fuels dissolve in water, the resulting ‘acid rain’  falls on forests, killing trees and wildlife and seriously affecting soils.

In 1986, Britain alone released 3,760,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide into the air, which was more than any other western European nation. 

The only way to fight acid rain is by curbing the release of the pollutants that cause it.  This means burning fewer fossil fuels.  Many governments have tried to curb emissions by cleaning up industry smokestacks and promoting alternative fuel sources.  These efforts have met with mixed results.  But even if acid rain could be stopped today, it would still tale many years for its harmful effects to disappear.

For related articles click onto:

Acid rain and its effect on wildlife
Caring for the coral reefs
Causes of acid rain
Coral reefs and the greenhouse effect
Conserving fossil fuels
Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels: Alternative sources of energy
Keystone species
What is acid rain?
What is fracking?
What is global warming?
What is the greenhouse effect?
What is the difference between a fog and a mist?
What is the difference between energy efficient light bulbs and traditional light bulbs?
What is the difference between neon and fluorescent light?
What is lightning?

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