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Acid Rain in Norway

This summary concerns the article ‘Acid Rain in Norway’, by Nick Middleton, which was published in Environment Today. The aim of the article is to show the negative effects acid rains have on nature, people’s health and the condition of buildings in Norway and how the country is trying to tackle this problem. The article is divided into two main parts: the first part shows the negative effects of acid rains on Norway, the second part discusses the efforts the country makes to reduce and prevent the damage caused by acid rains.

In the fist part of the article, Middleton outlines the dramatic effect acid rains have in Norway. Acids affect buildings, paint, and metal, the estimated cost of this damage is about NOK 200-300 million a year. Acid rains also spoil soils, which can neutralize their negative effects only to a certain critical point. According to the author, acid rains have the most detrimental effect on the freshwater ecosystem. Most sensitive to this influence are trout and salmon, dead fish are a reliable indicator of acidification.

In the second part, the author discusses the ways in which Norway is trying to neutralize the harmful effects of acid rains. The first method the country used was the application of lime, which decreases acid levels. This method was used in a big number of locations, but the writer explains that it was able to bring only short-term results as it can repair acidification level only to a certain degree, it is not a permanent solution. To achieve long-term results Norway signed international agreements taking on the commitment to reduce emissions of acid rain compounds and has already achieved certain success in reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. The writer stresses that most of the acid rain falling in Norway is emitted in other countries as air pollution. However other countries are also reducing their emissions according to the 1994 Sulphur Protocol.

In the conclusion, the author points out that though there are efforts to reduce the negative effects of acid rains, natural ecosystems will need mush time to rehabilitate.