Recovery from acid rain is starting….slowly

My local power station: Didcot

In the 1970s and 1980s acid rain was a big deal. There was an international convention to control it, and many environmental organisations fought against it.

Now as an issue, its mostly forgotten: for example, see the environmental NGOs Blueprint for Water campaign – which doesn’t mention it (and in which I am a consenting participant!).

But the problems caused by acid rain are still there, and there’s not been much recovery yet, as was shown by a new report published a few days ago, to little fanfare.

Funded by the soon to be cash-strapped Defra, the good news is that are definite signs of improvement, but recovery from acid rain is still only limited.

You can read the 5 page summary here, although most people proabably won’t make it through the remaining 478 pages of the rest of the report.

What’s this got to do with ponds? Well, not much actually because the study is based on detailed examination of lakes and headwater streams – important habitats, of course.

We still know nothing of the effects of acid rain on the hundreds of thousands of small waterbodies that dot the uplands.


One Response to “Recovery from acid rain is starting….slowly”

  1. Tristan Hatton-Ellis Says:

    We environmentalists are sometimes a gloomy bunch and a bit slow to celebrate success stories. But the recovery from acid rain is undoubtedly one of these – an international problem which a group of countries got together to sort out using effective policy mechanisms. By and large it has worked and here in Wales we are really starting to see natural recovery now.

    Jeremy – you are right to say that ponds have not been monitored. But the chemical processes that have affected all freshwater habitats (sulphur deposition causing acid rain) are the same, and so there is no reason to suppose that upland ponds are any different.

    The long term monitoring data that has been generated by the acid waters monitoring network is also a valuable tool for tracking climate change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: