The long lasting effects of acid rain

Bradford, A., & Biggs, B. (2022, March 16). Acid rain: Causes, effects and solutions. Livescience.Com. https://www.livescience.com/63065-acid-rain.html 

 

This article explains how acid rain was first being studied in the late 50s, where it took until the early 70s to realize that it was a regional environmental issue. Due to pollution, mainly C02 emissions, acid rain is created when sucked up into the atmosphere to be turned into sulfuric acid. This then rains down, not really as liquid, and greatly affects the ecosystems it lands in. This acid rain affects basically everything it touches such as plants, soil, water, and even man made objects. They kill plants and leave many animals’ entire ecosystems ruined, then it lowers the PH levels of the water, killing the fish in it. There are many solutions to solving this problem, however none can reverse the damage that has already been done. The main solution would be to stop burning fossil fuels, which release C02, and use alternative electrical energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal. In general, acidic rain is a major environmental problem which if not solved will continue to eat away at our environment until we are left with nothing. 

 

This article demonstrates the cause, effects, and solutions of acid rain. It paints a vivid description of what will happen if we continue to pollute and release C02 as acidic rain will only increase. It shows and explains how the acidic rain creates a large impact on most ecosystems, something not just animals but us humans rely on too. I like how it provides a couple of solutions to help slow down the acidic rain levels, however these are all small and would take all of us a long time to make an impact. I enjoy that it gives a very basic and easy to understand knowledge about the situation, but we are at the point where we need to take action now and stop more acidic rain from forming and killing our environment.

The change in earths ph levels overtime

University of Maine. (2022, March 2). Study of algae in Acadia National Park lakes shows recovery from acidification. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/03/220302190006.htm

 

Using research from the 1990s, we can now see how C02 emissions have affected the acidification of many freshwater lakes across the United States. These rises in water acidity have led to lower PH levels in the water. This results in damaging many ecosystems in or around it and many depend on water to survive and thrive. However, after the passing of the Clean Air Act Amendments, put forth in the 1990s, researchers from the University of Maine have seen less atmospheric acidic depositions. This resulted in the PH levels to rise, helping to restore and continue to run many ecosystems. Continuing their research, scientists took sediment samples from a couple lakes/ponds to see the effects over time. In the sediment they can see how the algae responded differently over time to the water, and how much the lakes have recovered. If we continue in this direction, scientists believe that we might possibly be able to restore our planet to its former glory. 

 

I find this shows how acidic water has a smaller effect compared to the acidification of the oceans and how because of this we are able to not only study it but also find solutions. It shows how much of an impact it has on ecosystems not just in the water, but on many of the ecosystems surrounding it. I find this article hopeful because it shows that there are solutions to the acidification of our water and mainly climate change as a whole. However, it is a false sense of hope because of how long it took to change small and unaffected bodies of water compared to that of our main issues being the oceans. This being so, I still like seeing how even though they are small steps, we are making progress to cause climate change to slow down.

Heatwaves lead to higher ocean acidity

Burger, F. A. (2022, August 16). Compound marine heatwaves and ocean acidity extremes. Nature. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-32120-7

 

The effects of climate change throughout the oceans include multiple extreme events such as increases in ocean acidification and marine heatwaves (temperature rise). The events, known as MHW-OAX events, leave a very large and negative impact on the sealife around them. These events are predicted to increase and continue as climate change worsens and no apparent turn around is in sight. Using pattern recognition to detect these events, we can predict the likelihood of another one occurring in the near future. Using this to find was to help control the damage that will take place on the marine environment. This sadly results in the sea life having to either learn to adapt to these events or just see their entire ecosystem die from it, along with them. 

 

The terrible results of these “MHW-OAX events’ ‘ leave many environments completely destroyed and we seem to not have a way to stop them. It is very helpful that we can now figure out when and where they’ll take place using pattern recognition, however with very little we can do to stop it it almost feels useless. The incredibly high acidic levels in the oceans are not just warming the water, but it is in fact killing most marine life. Who might I add are what most communities use as their main food source. This truly shows how badly climate change is affecting our planet and how if we want to make any difference we need to act now. 

Earth’s oceans reaching record breaking ph levels

Newburger, E. (2022, May 19). Earth’s oceans have reached the hottest and most acidic levels on record, UN says. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/19/oceans-reached-record-heat-acidity-in-2021-un-report-.html

 

Ocean temperatures and acidity have reached an all-time high according to the World Meteorological Organization. The W.M.O Secretary-General Petteri Taalas stated “Our climate is changing before our eyes,” as we see the ocean’s PH levels reach their lowest point in over 26,000 years. These outrageous temperatures have put much marine life in danger as we see many ecosystems about to collapse. As well as the temperature, the sea level has also reached an all-time high after rising at a rate of 4.5 mm per year. The increase in sea level has resulted in many coastal locations on flood watch and risks destroying not just ocean ecosystems but ones on land too. Scientists warned that the world as a whole has warmed up by 1.1 degrees and doesn’t appear to be decreasing anytime soon. 

 

This article shows how our harmful acts over the years are catching up to us and that it will be tough to reverse. Even without the research and data, we can see the effect ocean acidification has on the earth as the oceans warm up and levels rise. This affects not just the oceans, but the entire planet including every ecosystem on it.  This information personally worries me as we don’t see any slowdown in ocean acidification and the levels are increasing by the day. Even though it is a small amount, over time we will see entire cities and areas under the water. This is something that scientists have been warning us about and has come to fruition, it will be tough to control or save ourselves from our own mess.

Acid rain, where is it now?

Powell, T. B. (2022, April 26). What happened to acid rain? How the environmental movement won — and could again. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/acid-rain-environment-earth-day/

 

Research that has been conducted over the past 30 years has shown how many harmful gasses have been steadily decreasing. It shows that since 1990 gasses such as carbon monoxide in the air have decreased by 74%, nitrogen dioxide by 57% and sulfur dioxide by 89%. Another study was done by scientists where they compared the PH levels from 1963 to today where the PH level was 4.0 – 4.2 and now it is 5.2. It goes on to reveal that the reason for the growth of acidic rain is due to the emissions from many large power plants and factories ending up in large bodies of water. Tracing it back to around the 1950s when the increase could be seen. However, researchers show that things are starting to look up as many new policies are put into place to limit emissions and lead to less acidic rain. Dr. Michael Rennie, a freshwater ecology professor at Lakehead University in Canada, claims “It took more than 20 years, but we’re starting to see biological recovery in a lot of these systems. We’re starting to see chemical recovery. So it’ll happen.” Explaining that even though it took a while, we are starting to get on the right track to healing our planet back to where it is sustainable for all of us. 

 

This article demonstrates how over time we have seen the effects our pollution has on the environment through things such as acid rain. It connected the rise in large emission-producing factories to the uptick in acidic rainfalls starting in the mid-1950s. Now I find this article both interesting and hopeful. Interesting in the fact that I wasn’t too aware of what damage acidic rain had on the environment as a whole. Also what is interesting is that scientists can pinpoint it back to the 1950s as when the uptick began and how it changed over this large period of time. This also makes me hopeful due to the many policies it mentions that are or will be in place that should really help to improve our emissions.

Water Pollution : 5

Facio-krajcer, A., Cowan, J., & Welsh, A. (2022, July 31). When there’s arsenic in the water, but ‘we have nowhere to go’. The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/31/us/oasis-mobile-home-park-coachella.html 

 

In Oasis Mobile Home Park, many farm workers and their families face problems with the quality of their water. Research discovered that the water in this park contains almost 10 times the allowable limit of arsenic. Unfortunately, it is very hard for these people to find alternate water sources. The families and people living in the park have suffered through many health issues due to the water such as rashes, red bumps, kidney disease, etc. New management at the park claimed that they have spent more than 400,000 dollars to fix the quality of the water and even more to provide clean bottled water but the residents are still not able to use the water from the tap. Though the water may be bad, many people don’t have anywhere else that they can afford to move to. If they attempt to do so and fail, their old spot in the mobile home park would already be sold to a new family. Much research has been done on the water in the area and people believe that it is best to focus on moving the families to a proper living area for the water is far too contaminated to be fixed. For now, people are still in these mobile home parks but though the water levels may be dangerous, they are provided with free clean bottled water.

 

This article was more personal to a specific area/people ( people who live in the Oasis Mobile Home Park ). This was a great example of an environment that is suffering due to the shortage of a required natural resource. In this case, people are getting rashes and other diseases most likely due to the water which is nowhere near considered safe for consumption. I would say this article was a little more emotional because these people can’t leave this area. They must stay here with the poor water, living off the bottled water that is provided for them. I’m a little confused about what people are doing because it seems so far, all that was done was some research and providing free bottled water to the people living here. It doesn’t really seem like much is being done for the people living in the area which has been a common theme for all the big organizations throughout these articles.

 

Water Pollution : 4

Hoeven, E. (2022, July 27). 1 million californians lack safe drinking water. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://calmatters.org/newsletters/whatmatters/2022/07/california-drinking-water-safe/ 

 

People are suffering and enraged because they do not have the clean and safe water that they were promised by the government. Multiple people have come after the State Water Resources Control Board due to the lack of support regarding the quality of water and the water systems. As time passes by, more and more water systems are failing and the quality of water has decreased. Most of these systems are in poorer communities and are causing many health issues to the people who use the water. The state water board isn’t doing enough to prevent and fix the issue that people are not pleased about. California has also dealt with droughts in the past but is now in an extreme one which will only make matters worse for the failing water systems. Unfortunately, the situation will only become worse and people will continue to suffer if something isn’t done soon.

 

This article reminded me of a more in-depth version of the first article. What got me thinking in this article was the way she talked about the State Water Board and what some people had to say about it. I do acknowledge the work that the board has done so far but I agree that they are not working fast enough to actually make a difference. In addition to the many failing water systems, there are also going to be other environmental factors such as droughts which will make achieving clean water even more difficult and expensive. I do believe that there is more to be done but we are slowly running out of time.

 

Water Pollution : 3

CBS Sacramento 13, & CBS Broadcasting Inc. (2022, March 31). Report finds California has fifth-most polluted water in U.S. CBS News. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://www.cbsnews.com/sacramento/news/ca-water-pollution-report/ 

 

Though California is known as the “Golden State” and for its wealth, not everyone has access to clean/safe drinking water. Unfortunately, California actually has some of the highest levels of pollution in our water in the country. A non-profit organization ( The Environment Integrity Project ) discovered by observing rivers, streams, and ponds that California is the 5th most polluted country in the US. According to research, these bodies of water are so polluted that they don’t even meet the standards for drinking or other uses. Due to the pollution and chemicals in the water, natural environments get ruined which results in the inhabitants dying as well. This means that California is the third worst country in terms of fishing. The two factors for these issues are agricultural runoff and drought. It is recommended for the tests on the waterways and other bodies of water to improve as a way to help prevent this issue. However, this is only the case for California because not every state runs its waterways the way California does.

 

This article talked more about the rivers, streams, and other waterways than water systems for areas/people. This one also took me by surprise when it mentioned where California stood compared to the other states when it came to water quality, fishing, etc. It also talked about how a lot of regular-day things that happen in our society contribute to pollution in our water ( oil from cars and agricultural runoff ). I always knew that we were at fault for a lot of environmental issues on the earth but now I wonder if there’s a way to cut back from these habits or come up with new ones so pollution in water starts to decrease. I’m also curious to learn about water pollution and why it’s occurring in other states/areas.

Water Pollution : 2

University of California – Berkeley. (2022, January 11). Safe drinking water remains out of reach for many Californians. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/01/220111153647.htm 

 

Though having access to clean and affordable drinking water has been recognized as a human right in California, there are still around 370,000 people in the state who have no choice but to drink water that is full of chemicals and other harmful substances. Especially places that have a larger community of people of color. Community water systems are legally required by federal regulations to go through orderly tests to make sure that there are no contaminants that are harmful to people. Unfortunately, many systems do not pass these tests or are even regulated such as private domestic wells which many rural areas use as their main source of water. Studies have been done on these wells and the water quality. As expected, the water contains high amounts of harmful chemical contaminants. Poor tap water becomes more important due to the rising levels of climate change and droughts that California is facing. 

 

This article goes more in-depth about the effects of poor water quality and talks about the research behind wells. This reminded me of how much we take simple things for granted. If I’m thirsty, I can go to my sink and get a clean glass of water. I can take a shower whenever I want, and for as long as I want. Other people don’t have this privilege, they have to get their water from a well that doesn’t even provide safe water. I wasn’t surprised to learn about how climate change and droughts in California affect this issue, it makes me wonder how bad this issue is going to get.

 

Water Pollution : 1

Ronayne, K., & Associated Press. (2022, July 26). Audit: California too slow to fix contaminated water systems. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved August 28, 2022, from https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2022-07-26/audit-california-too-slow-to-fix-contaminated-water-systems 

 

Audit reveals that water from the tap is unsafe for consumption/use for many homes in California and the state isn’t working fast/hard enough to resolve the issue. There are thousands of water systems that supply the natural resource for the 39 million people in the state, 5% of those systems have some sort of issue/contaminant such as nitrates or arsenic. The unfortunate people who do not have the access to clean water are unable to drink, bathe, or cook without worrying about what is going to happen to them if they do. Most of these contaminated water systems are located in economically disadvantaged communities. The State Water Resources Control Board has provided around  $1.7 billion in grants.

This money would go to construction, development, and new design of the water systems which would help the water become clean. The board has also helped reduce the number of people who use unsafe tap water from 1.6 million ( 2019 ) to 1 million ( 2022 ). In addition to the grants to the water systems, the board has also paid for construction in the communities, improvement of water systems, and begun working on making the application process more efficient. The Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, created a $130 million fund back in 2019 to improve the quality of drinking water. Though some contributions and things are getting done, the money from the grants took far too long to process. The longer it takes for the board to support resolving the issue, the more expensive and complicated the issue gets. Not only does the condition of the water systems become worse, but so do the living conditions and health of the people who have no choice but to use the contaminated water. Some health problems that have occurred have been respiratory problems for infants, increased chances of cancer, harm to the kidney and liver, etc. Families are also still required to pay water bills for the contaminated water, along with the clean bottled water they have to get from outside sources. Overall, there are still a lot of things that need to be done to see a significant improvement in the quality of water in California.

 

This article revealed some problems that people face due to the poor conditions of water that they have no choice but using. I always considered California to be one of the places with the best tap water but not only did this article prove me wrong, it also makes me think that the water quality in California isn’t good at all. I feel lucky to live in a nicer area with water that I can bathe in, cook with, drink, etc and not have to worry about whether I could get cancer, a disease in my kidneys, etc. Compared to others, we really take water for granted. In the environment, almost all creatures depend on water to survive, we physically could not live without it and there are some people whose most important natural resource is full of harmful chemicals. I’m also not surprised about how the government is handling this situation. I’m glad that they’re taking some sort of action but I can tell that this isn’t a priority to them.