Acid rain is a great problem in our world. It causes fish and plants to die in our waters. As well it causes harm to our own race as because we eat these fish, drink this water, and eat these plants. It is a problem that we must all face together and try to get rid of. Many people do not know what acid rain is and what it effects. It effects us, our lakes and rivers, and the organisms living in these waters.
Acid rain is all the rain, snow, mist etc. that falls from the sky onto our planet and contains an unnatural acidic. It is not to be confused with uncontaminated rain that falls, for that rain is naturally slightly acidic. It is caused by today’s industry. When products are manufactured many chemicals are used to create it. However, because of the difficulty and cost of properly disposing of these products they are often emitted into the atmosphere with little or no treatment. The term was first considered to be important about 20 years ago when scientists in Sweden and Norway first believed that acidic rain may be causing great ecological damage to the planet(Pearce).
A lake does not become acid over night. It happens over a period of many years, sometimes decades. The changes are usually to gradual for them to be noticed early. Until recently the losses of fish was contained to the southern parts of Europe. Because of the constant onslaught of acid rain, lakes and rivers begin to lose their ability to counter act their affects. Much of the alkaline elements; such as calcium and limestone; in the soil had been washed away. It is these lakes that we must be worried about for they will soon become extinct.
Acid lakes are deceivingly beautiful. The are crystal clear and have a luscious carpet of green algae on the bottom. The reason that these lakes are so clear is because many of the decomposers are dead. They cannot break down that material such as leaves and dead animals. These materials eventually sink to the bottom instead of going through the natural process of decomposition. In acid lakes decomposition is very slow. The whole metabolism of the lake is slowed down(Pearce).
Acid rain is a danger to many organisms, but most of all is a danger to fish. A fact that may please fishermen is that in lakes and rivers they tend to catch older and larger fish. Older fish have been there longer and probably are not contaminated. This may please fisherman in the short run, however they will soon have to change lakes for the fish supply will die quickly if the lake is acidic. The problem is that acid causes difficulties the fish’s reproductive system. Often fish born in acid lakes do not survive because they are born with birth defects such as twisted and deformed spinal columns(Pearce). This is a sign that they are unable to extract enough calcium from the water to fully develop their bones. These young soon die. With no competition the older, stronger fish can grow easily. However there food is contaminated as well by the acid in the water. Soon they have not enough food for themselves and turn to cannibalism. With only an older population left there is no one left to regenerate themselves. Soon the lake dies.
Acid rain is a big problem. It causes the death of our lakes, our rivers, our wild life and most importantly us. As well it causes other problems that are very serious such as the release of aluminum and lead into our water supplies. We are suffering because of it. We must cut down the releases of chemicals that cause it. But it will take time, even if we were to stop today we would have the problem for years to come because of the build up in the soil.