Navigation Links
Recovery from acid rain 'much slower than expected'

Acid rain was one of the worlds worst pollution problems of the 1970s and 1980s, affecting large areas of upland Britain, as well as Europe and North America.

In Wales, more than 12,000 km of streams and rivers have been acidified, harming fish, stream insects and river birds such as the dipper.

Over the last 20 years, action has been taken across Europe to clean up acid pollutants from power generation and industry, which was widely expected to bring recovery. However, new research led by Cardiff Universitys School of Biosciences shows that the expected improvements in rivers are far short of expectations.

Recent studies in Galloway, the Scottish Highlands and Wales reveal that many streams are still highly acidified. Biological recovery has been particularly poor.

Key findings from the projects, carried out by combined teams from Cardiff University, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and National Museum Wales, include:

  • Acidity in Welsh headwaters is declining, but only slowly

  • More than two thirds of all streams sampled were acid enough during high flow to cause biological damage, with metals at toxic concentrations

  • Sulphur pollution from man-made sources is still an important cause of acid episodes, particularly in Wales

  • Sensitive insects survive conditions in the most acid streams for only a few days

  • Headwater acidification is still a significant problem for important salmon fisheries, and Special Areas of Conservation such as the Welsh River Wye.

Professor Steve Ormerod of the School of Biosciences, a leading researcher into the biological effects of acid rain for more than 20 years, said: Organisms and ecosystems are the best indicators of recovery from pollution, so these results will alarm anyone interested in the well-being of our rivers. We need to understand the factors responsible for such delayed recovery, particularly since climate change is likely to make the acidification problem even worse.

Dr Chris Evans, an acid-rain specialist from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in Bangor, added Pollution reductions are slowly improving in upland waters, but there is a long way to go. The large biological effects of acid episodes shown by this work mean that it is vital to continue monitoring these ecosystems if we are to protect them in future."

The research contrasts with other recent studies which showed some encouraging early signs and will come as disappointing news to those who thought the acid rain problem was solved.


Contact: Stephen Rouse
Cardiff University

Related biology news :

1. Dinosaur DNA? New Patent Covers Degraded DNA recovery
2. Low oxygen likely made Great Dying worse, greatly delayed recovery
3. Combination therapy leads to partial recovery from spinal cord injury in rats
4. Time and money make a difference in endangered species recovery
5. Adult stem cells aid recovery in animal model of cerebral palsy
6. Infused spleen cells found not to impact islet recovery and reversal of type 1 diabetes in mice
7. Stem cell transplants improve recovery in animal models for stroke, cerebral palsy
8. Iraqs marshes show progress toward recovery
9. UC Davis study finds HIV hiding from drugs in gut, preventing immune recovery
10. Insect predation sheds light on food web recovery after the dinosaur extinction
11. Dopamine drug leads to new neurons and recovery of function in rat model of Parkinsons
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/6/2017)... Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, Card-Based ... & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / Energy ... Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality & ... for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access Control ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator ... of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified ... architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises ... over 15 million users across the financial services industry, ... product suites and physical access represent a growing portion ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... the Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. ... The Institute of Cancer Research, London ... use MMprofiler™ with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients ... trial known as MUK nine . The University of ... trial, which is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give ... Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM ... firm for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu ... , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces ... needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health ... As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach ...
Breaking Biology Technology: