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USGS CMG InfoBank: Pollution

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Comment: 12:01 - 13:12 (01:11)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 15. Weathering and Soils
Keywords: weathering, "chemical weathering", pollution, "acid rain", "sulfur dioxide", sulfur, coal, moisture, atmosphere, "sulfuric acid", acid, "carbon dioxide", "carbon monoxide", "nitrogen oxide", rainfall, plant, tree, masonry, stone, forest, lake, woodland, Europe, "North American Continent", precipitation

Our transcription: The most important source of acid rain is the sulfur dioxide emitted by automobiles and factories burning high sulfur coal.
This combines with moisture in the atmosphere to form sulfuric acid.
Additional acids can form from carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides from auto exhausts, and from burning of almost all kinds.
The excess acids in rain fall accelerate chemical weathering of masonry and stone downwind, and can wreak havoc on the leaves of plants and trees.
A striking effect of acid rain is the historical deterioration of some forests and lakes.
Over the last 40 or 50 years the woodlands of central Europe and eastern North America had been noticeably affected by acid precipitation and related dry pollutants.
And with continued industrial pollution, the process compounds year by year.

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