Re: [asa] Acid rain (was: Global Warming is Not a Crisis)

From: Christine Smith <christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Jun 18 2007 - 11:52:07 EDT

As an FYI, the article Janice is quoting is the
Heartland Institute article I was referring to
earlier.

In some cases below, I use excerpts from the 2005
NAPAP assessment; you can find the whole thing at: See
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/AQRS/reports/napapreport05.pdf
for the full report.

Janice quotes:
> The NAPAP study found that among thousands of U.S.
> lakes, only 4
> percent were somewhat acidic. One-quarter of those
> were acidic due to
> natural causes, leaving only 3 percent somewhat
> influenced by human activities.

Excerpts from the 2005 NAPAP assessment:
"Acid deposition can lead to acidification of surface
waters. Acidification and low acid neutralizing
capacity (ANC) can, in turn, lead to the loss of
sensitive fish populations from those waters 31 (see
Figure 27). In the 1980s, acid rain was found to be
the dominant cause of acidification in 75% of acidic
lakes and 50% of acidic streams."

"Reductions of SO2 emissions from power generation
under Title IV have resulted in significant declining
trends in airborne concentrations
of SO2 and sulfate throughout the Eastern U.S.
Scientists have determined that the reduction in SO2
emissions has led to a comparable decrease in SO2 air
concentrations, indicating that the relationship
between emissions and air concentrations for SO2 is
close to 1:1. For example, in the Midwest, which
experienced some of the highest emission levels and
the greatest annual change in SO2 emissions since
1990, the approximately 35% regional reduction of SO2
air concentrations
corresponds well to the approximately 35% national
reduction in SO2 emissions. Reductions in ambient
airborne sulfate concentrations in the Midwest were
not as linear; ambient sulfate concentrations declined
by only 26%.90 The relationship between SO2 emission
reductions and ambient sulfate concentrations is
influenced by a number of chemical
and meteorological factors that contribute to the
nonlinear
response between emission reductions and downwind
concentrations.23
Scientists have also recently documented that both wet
and dry components of sulfur deposition (and the
acidity associated with sulfur deposition) have
declined in a near linear fashion with the decline in
SO2 emissions impacting the Eastern U.S. 22–25 Strong
correlations between large-scale SO2 emission
reductions and large reductions in sulfate
concentrations in precipitation have been noted for
the Northeast—one of the areas most affected by acid
deposition."

To be fair...

"Emissions of NOx are transformed in the atmosphere
into a series of pollutants, including nitric acid and
nitrates. Nitric acid reacts with ammonia and primary
particles such as sea spray, soil, and soot to form
particle phase ammonium nitrate. From the perspective
of acid deposition, nitric acid
is an acidifying gas and a key chemical species for
which the dry deposition monitoring networks now have
an extensive
record. While data from the monitoring networks
provide strong evidence of statistically significant
declining trends in the concentrations of sulfur
species, trends in nitrogen
concentrations have not been as pronounced over the
past decade."

Nevertheless...

"Nitrate concentrations in precipitation measured at
NADP/NTN sites have generally remained the same or
increased
in some regions (e.g., the Southeast) over the past 15
years. Unlike sulfate concentrations, sharp declines
in nitrate concentrations have not been observed in
the Northeast, but some decline has occurred.26 While
wet nitrate deposition does appear to be substantially
lower in the East in 2000–2002 (see Figure 23),
nitrate concentrations in precipitation did not change
(see Figure 24). Therefore, the lower nitrate
deposition in 2000–2002 appears to be related
to lower precipitation levels over those same years.
Other researchers have also not found significant
reductions in nitrogen deposition since 1990. Lynch,
Bowersox, and Grimm found that most areas of the
country were not substantially different in reduced or
oxidized nitrogen
in 1997–1999 compared to historic levels. These
findings were not unexpected and are consistent with
the NOx emissions that were not appreciably affected
by Title IV in 1996 or 1997 on a broad, regional
basis.27 The control of NOx emissions under Title IV
was not required until 1996. Moreover, any decreases
in NOx emissions from power
generation have been significantly offset by increases
from the vehicle sector from 1991 to 2000."

Janice quotes:
> Perhaps the best news in the NAPAP report was that
> whatever the
> cause, overly acidic lakes can be easily and
> inexpensively corrected
> by the addition of lime.
>
> Attempting to reduce regional water acidity by
> targeting smokestack
> emissions through the Clean Air Act costs at least
> 1,000 times more
> than applying lime to the small proportion of lakes
> where the problem exists.

This entirely ignores the fact that acid rain is not
the only negative impact resulting from NOx and SOx
emissions. These would include health problems, ozone
formation (in the case of NOx), and visibility.
Besides, if you don't control smokestack emissions,
you'd have to reapply the lime on a regular basis.
Better (much more cost-effective) to treat the
underlying cause, rather than just the symptoms.

Janice quotes:
> Furthermore, the report minimized the effect of acid
> rain on the
> erosion of buildings and statues, and found no basis
> for alleged
> widespread health effects.

I assume the "widespread health effects" are referring
not to acid rain, but to the health impacts from the
NOx and SOx pollutants (particulate matter (PM)).

Excerpts from the 2005 NAPAP assessment:
"SO2, NOx, and many of the pollutants they form
corrode materials, particularly those made of
limestone or marble. Monuments and historic buildings,
outdoor structures such as bridges and buildings, and
automotive
paints and finishes are all susceptible to damage by
acidic pollutants. One set of studies indicated that
several air pollutants from coal combustion are the
main sources of soiling on a limestone building in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania followed by erosion
due to rainfall."

"SO2 and NOx emissions, as well as many of the
compounds they form in the atmosphere,
are damaging certain materials, primarily
cultural resources made of stone. Bronze, paint, and
other surfaces and surface
coatings are also susceptible to damage
from acid pollutants and deposition. Weathering due to
acid deposition often harms cultural assets (e.g.,
statues and monuments) more than purely operational
resources (e.g., bridges and buildings). This is
because the appearance of cultural resources, where
much of their value lies,
is particularly vulnerable to damage. There are also
historic and emotional values attached to cultural
assets that increase the value of their preservation.
A recent review of the scientific literature on the
contribution of acid deposition to stone deterioration
indicates that dry deposition,
which is mainly influenced by short-range transport of
pollutants from local sources, is the main source of
damage.88 A secondary source of damage is wet
deposition
from long-range transport of pollutants. In areas
where buildings and monuments remain wet for long
periods of time, and in rural areas, wet deposition
can
be a major source of damage. If pollution is very low,
this phenomenon becomes indistinguishable from the
“normal” weathering of stone due to the dissolution
effect from pure water"

"In 1996, EPA published Air Quality Criteria for
Particulate Matter
(“Criteria Document”), a comprehensive review
and summary of the scientific literature.142 At that
time, a large body of epidemiological
evidence indicated that serious health effects were
associated with PM at levels even below the
then-current air quality standards. These health
effects include:

Premature death and increased hospital admissions and
emergency room visits, especially
for heart and lung diseases, primarily
in the elderly and individuals with pre-existing
cardiopulmonary disease.

Increased respiratory symptoms and disease, primarily
in children and individuals
with cardiopulmonary disease such as asthma.

Decreased lung function, particularly in children and
individuals with asthma.

Alterations in lung tissue and structure and in
respiratory tract defense mechanisms."

Janice quotes:
> Nitrogen Fears Unfounded
>
> At the 1968 meeting of the American Association for
> the Advancement
> of Science, environmental activist Barry Commoner
> said the
> concentration of nitrates was rising dramatically in
> Midwestern
> rivers, that the cause was nitrogen fertilizer, and
> that the result
> was a threat to human health and the integrity of
> natural ecosystems.
>
> To address Commoner's claims, the Illinois Pollution
> Control Board
> held 10 hearings in 1970 and 1971 to determine
> whether constraints
> should be imposed on farm application of nitrogen
> fertilizers and
> animal manure in order to limit the content of
> nutrients in surface waters.
>
> It is important to remember that nitrogen fertilizer
> had been
> responsible for much of the phenomenal increases in
> yields of corn,
> sorghum, and small grains used directly in human
> food and as
> livestock feed to produce beef, pork, lamb, chicken,
> and turkey.
> Constraints on the use of nitrogen fertilizer would
> have reduced the
> supply and raised the price of many food products.
>
> Claims Proved False
>
> Commoner's claim that the nitrate content had
> tripled in the Illinois
> River proved to be false--the sample used for his
> first test was
> taken at a different location than the sample used
> for his later test.
>
> Though many cases of an infant health problem
> (methemoglobinemia)
> from high nitrate levels can be found worldwide, the
> last infant
> death reported from excess nitrate in drinking water
> in the United
> States was in 1949, long before nitrogen fertilizer
> was a factor.

What does this have to do with acid rain?

Anybody want to add to what I've posted? I haven't had
a time to dig up any more info than this...

Christine

--- Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net> wrote:

> At 12:44 AM 6/18/2007, PvM wrote:
> >On 6/17/07, Janice Matchett
> <janmatch@earthlink.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> At 01:06 PM 6/14/2007, Christine Smith wrote:
> >>I once read a Heartland Institute
> publication...apparently, they
> >>don't think acid rain was really ever a problem
> either...
> >>
> >> @ "They" aren't alone. Not only is it not a
> problem - but
> >> beneficial -according to the guys at NASA's
> Goddard Space Flight
> >> Center Acid rain limits global warming
> NewScientist.com news service ^ | 03 Aug 04 | Will
> Knight
>
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1184221/posts
> and
> Live Science.com Study: Less Acid Rain Not Always So
> Great
> By
>
<http://www.livescience.com/environment//php/contactus/author.php?r=sg>Sara
>
> Goudarzi, LiveScience Staff Writer posted: 21
> December 2006 03:00 pm
> ET
>
http://www.livescience.com/environment/061221_acidrain_reduction.html
> . ~ Janice :)
>
> >Of course, when actually reading the article one
> realizes that it
> >still is a problem with some minor beneficial
> effects. Why is it so
> >hard to understand what these papers do and do not
> say? Sigh ~ Pim
>
> @ Of course "duh" people must first "see" the
> papers that are
> deliberately suppressed (DUH) before they can
> understand anything.
>
> Acid Rain, Nitrogen Scares Debunked
> Written By: Samuel Aldrich and Jay Lehr
> Published In: Environment News
> Publication Date: February 1, 2007
>
> This article is the eighth in a continuing series
> excerpted from the
> book Smoke or Steam: A Guide to Environmental,
> Regulatory and Food
> Safety Concerns, by Samuel Aldrich, excerpted and
> abridged by Jay Lehr.
>
> Perhaps the best example of the contributions of
> scientists to a
> large, complex issue is the National Acid
> Precipitation Assessment
> Project (NAPAP). This project entailed hundreds of
> scientists working
> in small groups over a period of 10 years at a cost
> of $550 million.
>
> Scare Debunked
>
> The NAPAP findings were submitted to Congress in
> 1990. Because the
> study's findings minimized the impact of acid rain
> caused by humans,
> Congress and the media completely ignored them.
>
> The NAPAP study found that among thousands of U.S.
> lakes, only 4
> percent were somewhat acidic. One-quarter of those
> were acidic due to
> natural causes, leaving only 3 percent somewhat
> influenced by human activities.
>
> The study found many of the Adirondack lakes were
> acidic when
> explorers first entered the region, and likely
> contained few fish at
> the time. Logging the virgin forests prior to 1900
> reduced the
> regional lake acidity. Acidity then rebounded with
> the decline of logging.
>
> Simple Solution Available
>
> Perhaps the best news in the NAPAP report was that
> whatever the
> cause, overly acidic lakes can be easily and
> inexpensively corrected
> by the addition of lime.
>
> Attempting to reduce regional water acidity by
> targeting smokestack
> emissions through the Clean Air Act costs at least
> 1,000 times more
> than applying lime to the small proportion of lakes
> where the problem exists.
>
> Furthermore, the report minimized the effect of acid
> rain on the
> erosion of buildings and statues, and found no basis
> for alleged
> widespread health effects.
>
> All of this was completely ignored by the U.S.
> Environmental
> Protection Agency (EPA), environmental activist
> groups, and the news media.
>
> Ignoring the findings of the $550 million, 10-year
> NAPAP study is
> among the most egregious and costly errors ever made
> by Congress and EPA.
>
> Nitrogen Fears Unfounded
>
> At the 1968 meeting of the American Association for
> the Advancement
> of Science, environmental activist Barry Commoner
> said the
> concentration of nitrates was rising dramatically in
> Midwestern
> rivers, that the cause was nitrogen fertilizer, and
> that the result
> was a threat to human health and the integrity of
> natural ecosystems.
>
> To address Commoner's claims, the Illinois Pollution
> Control Board
> held 10 hearings in 1970 and 1971 to determine
> whether constraints
> should be imposed on farm application of nitrogen
> fertilizers and
> animal manure in order to limit the content of
> nutrients in surface waters.
>
> It is important to remember that nitrogen fertilizer
> had been
> responsible for much of the phenomenal increases in
> yields of corn,
> sorghum, and small grains used directly in human
> food and as
> livestock feed to produce beef, pork, lamb, chicken,
> and turkey.
> Constraints on the use of nitrogen fertilizer would
> have reduced the
> supply and raised the price of many food products.
>
> Claims Proved False
>
> Commoner's claim that the nitrate content had
> tripled in the Illinois
> River proved to be false--the sample used for his
> first test was
> taken at a different location than the sample used
> for his later test.
>
> Though many cases of an infant health problem
> (methemoglobinemia)
> from high nitrate levels can be found worldwide, the
> last infant
> death reported from excess nitrate in drinking water
> in the United
> States was in 1949, long before nitrogen fertilizer
> was a factor.
>
> ~ Janice .... who thinks it's funny to see the PC
> crowd (who try and
> silence "duh" people) being accurately
> psychoanalyzed:
> http://tinyurl.com/25ddf2
>
>
>
>
>

"For we walk by faith, not by sight" ~II Corinthians 5:7

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Received on Mon Jun 18 12:01:14 2007

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