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What type of impact has acid rain had on New York's Adirondack Park over the past ten years. What are the long term consequences of acid rain?

Adirondack Park Another good question for your New York State Department of the Environment (ask your teacher to help you find the address to write or call for more information). Acid rain changes the acidity of soil and water. Acidity is measured by pH - which stands for "power of hydrogen". What is means is that low pH materials (such as soil or water) have little power to dissolve metals and minerals and high pH materials will dissolve metals and minerals more easily. Materials with a high pH are called '"alkaline" and materials with a low pH are called "acid".

If acid rain falls on alkaline soils, the pH may become lower than plants can tolerate and the plants will get sick and die. Acid rain is believed to have been the cause of tree deaths in the Adirondacks and in the Black Forest in Germany. If your State Department of Environment will not help you to learn more about it, write to the Sierra Club and they would be happy to give you more information.

Don Libby

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