Talk:Acid rain

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Former good article nominee Acid rain was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
May 27, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
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I think a good picture for the article would be one of a forest (and trees) damaged by the acid. You would have to find one that allows fair use though unless you have taken one yourself in such an area.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 12:50, 9 February 2007

Headline text[edit]

This is an excellent scientific treatment. Thanks,

Now, can anyone describe what industry and goverment are doing to ameliorate the problem? I'd like to see at least a reference to emissions trading or fines or scrubbing or reductions of output or whatever. very nice this information —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Ed Poor, Tuesday, June 11, 2002

I'd suggest removing the reference to carbon emissions from the headline text; they contribute to the acidity of normal rain, but the solubility of CO2 in water is so low that increased carbon dioxide doesn't have a significant effect on the pH of rain--Chemistry marmot (talk) 15:37, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

True True —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
That's why I came to this talk page, and I am going to remove it. Carbonic acid is very weak, and CO2 emissions have nothing to do with acid rain. Huw Powell (talk) 01:26, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


I don't claim to be an expert in the field, but this passage in the introduction paragraph seems to include a couple of errors. First off, we have:

Acid rain is defined as any type of precipitation with a pH that is unusually low.

As a lower pH indicates a stronger acid this seems to make sense. A couple lines later we have:

Therefore a pH of >5.6 has sometimes been used as a definition of acid rain.

This seems to read a pH GREATER than 5.6 has been used to define acid rain. This seems irrational as a pH greater than 5.6 is approaching a neutral pH. A couple lines later we find the same issue again:

However, natural sources of acidity mean that in remote areas, rain has a pH which is between 4.5 and 5.6 with an average value of 5.0 and so rain with a pH >5 is a more appropriate definition.

Going to alter this to read a pH of <5.6 and pH <5. If this is incorrect, go ahead and revert back.


Went to change this and in the code for the page the symbols appear correctly. Since this seems to be a coding error somewhere, I substituted lesser than and less than for the < symbol.


hey watz ^ tree huggers (please dont get offendid im a tree huger too) l.o.l im in total shock to hear about acid rain i swear it makes me mad70.156.27.239 01:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)ME THE TREE HUGER70.156.27.239 01:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

There is no reference to NAPAP[edit]

NAPAP was a $600 million study into acid rain in the 1980's that included the following poopcicles in the south for a lemonade stand by pooptrivia.coma) the problem had probably been overstated b) there was little evidence of acidification of lakes - many which were changing were in fact reverting to their historical acidic condition having been damaged by slash-and-burn agriculture c) there was little evidence for tree damage; the total problem showed itself at the tree line where the additional nutrients (NOx and SOx)caused early blooming which was then damaged by late frosts. The NAPAP director was replaced and the final report held back until the 1990 CAAA had been passed. Perpetual sceptic (talk) 07:32, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

The 2005 NAPAP report to Congress is the first external link. Its content contradicts your allegations. Gabriel Kielland (talk) 17:21, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, the article now reads as though the NAPAP report was well received by the environmentalists which is far from the case, in fact J. Laurence Kulp resigned as head of the scientific study due to the reports political incorrectness. See[1]. --Another berean (talk) 19:09, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Observational Database[edit]

A large observational database of many different atmospheric constituents including radicals from a host of platforms is available. This was created as part of ESA Envisat and NASA Aura validation. It is of general use. Do you think it should be added to the article text? Dlary

Forests and other vegetation[edit]

Somebody didn't finish their thought in the last sentence under Forests and other vegetation. Anyone know what they are talking about? Hburg 15:59, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Acid rain does not cause deforestation[edit]

According to Julian Simon (The Ultimate Resource 2, pg 265/6) and Bjorn Lomborg (The Skeptical Environmentalist, pg 178-181) acid rain does not cause deforestation. Both cite the work of the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (the only longitudinal attempt to demonstrate causality, as opposed to correlation) which demonstrated that acid rain does not reduce sapling growth, across a number of species and a broad range of pH 6.0 - 3.5 (cf average pH of 4.2 for acid rain). See: Kulp, J.L. and Herrick, C.N. /The Causes and Effects of Acid Deposition./ Interim Assessment, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1987. [2]. --Michael C. Price talk 02:03, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


I have noticed that this page is subject to very frequent vandalism and bad-faith edits. Does anyone think this page should be semi-protected? I realize this won't stop all of the problems, but it would sure help. Thoughts?--Analogue Kid 20:40, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

GA comment[edit]

The statements that are followed by "citation needed" need to be removed or sourced or the article will be quick-failed by a reviewer. --Nehrams2020 05:07, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. This is how the article, as of May 27, 2007, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Can be improved:
- positioning of the citations need to come after the nearest punctuation
- more copyediting is needed, as some sentences have excessive commas and bad grammar
- wrong heading level: 'Gas phase chemistry'
- lead section is too long.
2. Factually accurate?: 'Citation needed' tags are still present, as mentioned above. Existing citations are not in the proper format.
3. Broad in coverage?: Yes, but how about some information on future trends of acid rain?
4. Neutral point of view?: Yes.
5. Article stability? Yes. Interesting amount of vandalism.
6. Images?: Good.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be resubmitted for consideration. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to a GA review. Thank you for your work so far. Quick-failed per cleanup tag criterion.Carson 05:13, 27 May 2007 (UTC)


I have noticed to shock obvious vandalism stating "Mr.Filips is stupid" I am new to wikipedia and don't know what else to do but announce it here. This needs attention and must be changed immediatly... I hope. Dillpickle987 02:38, 7 June 2007 (UTC)acid rain is confusing but youll find out 1 day......

There is also an incomprehensible paragraph on Margaret Thatcher. This also needs attention.

New lead[edit]

The existing lead section of this article was too specific and too long (see good article review). I have attempted to make a short summary of the article consistent with the guidlines at: Wikipedia:Lead section. I may have now made it a bit on the short side and it will still need citiations to be added, but I belive this is an improvement. Comments welcome.--NHSavage 18:12, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Article gone backwards?[edit]

Since this article was nominated for GA status, it seems to have lost large sections of text. In addition, someof the citation needed tags seem to have been removed without citations being provided. I have restored some of the lost text.--NHSavage 18:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is infested with morons[edit]

All the "scientific discussion and debate" on this page demanding "proof of harm or damage" caused by water precipitation with super-normal acidity (acid rain in layman i.e. Wikipedia terms) makes me convulse with laughter and amusement. Soon we will have "skeptics" who'd demand "strong proof" to "cite" the harmful effects of consumption of cyanide, LOL. Bunch of idiots, y'all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC) wow its so great here i can now do my report —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

There is acid rain in the Rainforest.

acid rain is a result of air pollution —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Affected Areas[edit]

In the section "Affected areas":

"Particularly badly affected places around the globe include most of Europe (particularly Scandinavia with many lakes with acidic water containing no life and many trees dead) many parts of the United States (states like New York are very badly affected) and South Western Canada. Other affected areas include the South Eastern coast of China and Taiwan.

Potential problem areas in the future

Places like much of South Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand), Western South Africa (the country), Southern India and Sri Lanka and even West Africa (countries like Ghana, Togo] and Nigeria) could all be prone to acidic rainfall in the future."

This section is poorly worded. Also, where is "South Western Canada"? I think this is probably "Southern Ontario" (where lots of manufacturing and much of the population is), but Ontario is hardly "Western Canada" (it's considered Central Canada).

My proposed re-wording is as follows (and deleting the potential problem area, which pretty much covers the remaining parts of the globe). The "unfortunate geography" refers to being downwind/downstream of heavy industry and population... don't know how to more accurately describe this. I intend this merely as a re-wording, not supporting claims or research.

Affected Areas

Acid rain affects some areas to a greater degree, such as: much of Europe and the United States, southern Ontario in Canada, the south-eastern coast of China, and Taiwan. Heavily populated areas like New York state or areas with unfortunate geography like Scandinavia are severely affected.

SilverEyesSE (talk) 19:37, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Incomprehensible Paragraph on Margaret Thatcher[edit]

This page has a meaningless section on the effects of Margaret Thatcher's political policies on Acid Rain. Could a trusted user review/remove this section.

Richard.walkington (talk) 21:00, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Done. Gabriel Kielland (talk) 07:24, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I don’t know why this section was removed, or why people are accusing it of being incomprehensible. As the rest of the article points the finger of blame for Acid Rain at the use of Coal and as we all know Margret Thatchers destruction of the coal mining and using industries (e.g. the massive amount of funding she ploughed into nuclear power) and other industry surly she is a large factor in the dropping levels of Acid Rain produced by the UK. Just because its a political not scientific method of reduction surly it still is worth some merit. Instead it was more or less unilaterally removed. Two users agreeing over a period of two days dose not make a consensus!--Prophesy (talk) 01:00, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Simply WP:OR. Vsmith (talk) 01:30, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Its not origanal rechearch though. As you can see it was refrenced.--Prophesy (talk) 13:19, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
User:Prophesy insists that Margareth Thatcher is a prevention method, which is wrong. Acid rain was not accidentily discovered in the 1980s, nor was Mrs. Thatcher. The speech referenced only mention the international commitment she at the time had inherited as prime minister. The European history of acid rain abatement could very well fit into this article, but not as this joke. Gabriel Kielland (talk) 09:45, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

New Material[edit]

Added substantial new material on acid rain emissions trading program in U.S. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 20:25, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Nagging Spelling Error[edit]

It may have gone unnoticed because no one thought it worth mentioning, but the introductory paragraph contains the word "infastructure" instead of "infrastructure." As this paragraph is the one most commonly referenced by students looking for general definitions, it should be as orthographically sound as possible. CopperPlatypus (talk) 20:01, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks. :-) Atmoz (talk) 20:49, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

spelling mistake?[edit]

In the introduction I noticed a possible spelling mistake of sulfur. My computer says it should be 'sulphur'. Because being a student I personally don't want less marks for a spelling mistake.

No mistake in the article. See [3] for an explanation.

Sorry if this is an american wiki, but if it's British, don't spell it in the Americanised (again, if this is american wiki, tha's americanized, and my comment is worthless) way, or we will slowly lose our nationality (talk) 18:02, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's policy is to retain British spelling if the article already uses British spelling, or American spelling, if the article already uses American spelling. Changing one to the other (or worse, introducing a different spelling convention from the one currently used in that article) is discouraged. It's just a matter of maintaining internal consistency in the articles, it has nothing to do with nationality.—Tetracube (talk) 00:39, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Gas phase chemistry[edit]

Where is the hydroxyl radical coming from? Should be explained V8rik (talk) 20:07, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Failed verification[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} In the "Other adverse effects" section there is a sentence that says "Acid rain also causes an increased rate of oxidation for iron", citing this as a reference; however, no such thing is mentioned in that reference. Please add {{Failed verification}}. -- (talk) 21:36, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Material degradation from acid rain is extensively studied. Two European references added here.Gabriel Kielland (talk) 23:25, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
removed the template, the added references back up the statement and the old reference is left because it backs up the visibility and haze statement.

air pollution[edit]

air pollution occurs if substances present in the atmosphere are harmful to humans, other organisms or materials.they could be gases ,solids ,or liquids released due to human activities or natural causes —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

"Acidity of vinegar"[edit]

Vinegar (like other acids) doesn't have a pH, it has a pKa (which is a very different number than pH). The best colloquial definition of pKa is "acid strength", whereas pH is best defined as "acidity of a solution". Solutions of various pH may be made with any given acid (i.e., it is possible, by varying the concentration of vinegar) to make a solution of pH 6, 5, 4, etc, just as it would be possible to use another acid, such as HCl, to make solutions of these same pH values). A particular solution of vinegar might have a pH of 2.4, but not all solutions of vinegar do. --Chemistry marmot (talk) 15:50, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Occult deposition[edit]

Occult deposition - from direct contact between vegetation etc. and mist or fog - should also be mentioned, as it can be especially significant in some areas. See reference from the UK Air Pollution Information System: (talk) 00:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Acid rain[edit]

Main article: Acid rain

Acid rain is any form of precipitation, where the water molecules presented have a unusual decrease in pH levels.[1] Acid rain can often occur during the weather phenomenon of a thunderstorm. The voltage of electricity release by lightning is powerful enough to split nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere into separate atoms.[2] These nitrogen atoms are reactive enough to form compounds with the water molecules presented in rain, forming nitric acid, a form of acid rain. The properties of acid rain are able to dissolve structure created out of minerals containing calcite (otherwise known as calcium carbonate). The acid rain reacts with the carbon molecules compost within the calcite, while also releasing calcium atoms. This process then wears and dissolves away structures made of limestone and other minerals containing calcite. Other that the damage it does to infrastructures and buildings of limestone, acid rain can also produce risk and harm towards marine wildlife through increases in acidity.[3] Tissues of vegetations are also presented with the risk of being damaged. Acid rain can also increase acidity in soil particles, which decrease the nutrients presented in harmed soil as well as encourage the presence of certain disease-agent microorganisms. Besides occurring within the presence of thunderstorms, acid rain can also occur in dense populated areas. Dense populated areas often have high usage of energy source, which releases greenhouse gas. This can mixed with water molecules presented in the atmosphere, creating acid rain. The gas particles released by volcanic eruptions can also allow acid rain to form.[4]

This is a donation from the Severe weather page. I am currently conducting a GOCE on the page and this information does not fit the stated definition on the page for Severe weather. I do not want the information lost, so please integrate it into your page. Sincerely Bullock 04:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Critical Review of references[edit]

I have checked a number of references on this page and found them pretty out of date especially concerning Europe. The page should be updated to reflect the current emissions rates as well as the current state of the environment. I will consider any reference dated before 2005 as suspect. The reason is that acid rain, especially in Europe, has decreased considerably since the fall of communism. I will start at critical review of the references (free time permitting) and just giving a heads up. Appreciate any help I can get!

One thing I think this page should have is a table/graph of decreased emission over the years. After all this is a success story of environmental protection! (talk) 17:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Part about acid rain in USA should be removed. Or put on its own wikipage. It has nothing to do with the general wikipedia site about acid rain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:18, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Historical acid rain levels[edit]

It would be good to put up a chart showing acid rain levels since 1970 to show how well the environmental legislation effected the positive change. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 30 April 2011[edit]

footnote 27 has the stray word "own" (talk) 18:15, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Fixed Thanks, CTJF83 19:22, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Livestock and ammonia[edit]

In the end of the Emissions of chemicals leading to acidification section it says:

'Also, livestock production plays a major role. It is responsible for almost two-thirds of all sources of ammonia produced through human activities, which contributes significantly to acid rain.[24]'

It seems very strange that ammonia would contribute to acid rain since it is a base. The reference[4] backs up the statement, but google hits for <acid rain ammonia> indicate that ammonia on the other hand neutralize the acid rain[5][6]. For this reason I will remove the two sentences quoted above. Ulflund (talk) 17:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. We should really look into this more, or ask someone knowledgable from the chemistry project. Thegreatdr (talk) 21:45, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I have read through quite a few (internet based) sources about acid rain an none of them mention ammonia as a contributer. This indicates that it cannot 'contribute significantly to acid rain' as was stated before. I have also looked at more search results and papers about acid rain and ammonia and most mention most mention ammonia as reducing the acidity of the rain while only a few talks about it as contributing to acid rain. Ulflund (talk) 17:31, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

CAIR EPA references out of date[edit]

The discussion of EPA CAIR is five years out of date - CAIR was ruled illegal, and the EPA required to issue new rules, but those have been fought in court and their implementation stayed, so any correction will be temporary. Mulp (talk) 18:30, 19 February 2012 (UTC) lies — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

EU provisional agreement on sulphur emissions from ships[edit]

Hi, someone of people who is allowed to edit the article may add some new political agreements from EU on the topic: Sillu12 (talk) 11:23, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Hydrofluoric Acid[edit]

Hydrofluoric Acid is an important component of Acid rain, in reality. It should be mentioned in this article! Because it is so corrosive, damaging and hazardous it is particularly important that it be included, together with a discussion of its environmental and health effects. Also Hydrofluoric acid forms from the combustion of petrol that has substituted fluorine which occurs when cracked using HF acid as a catalyst, which is now the vast majority of all petrol because the method that uses sulphuric acid is less efficient and a couple of percent efficiency when it comes to oil refining is big $$$. Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk).

This is an interesting idea, but are there any references to back it up? I was not aware that HF had a significant impact on rainwater or other precipitation. I may have missed this however, as my own area of interest is more in the area of ozone and aerosol pollution. Do you have any references you can cite?--NHSavage (talk) 10:22, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Grey box[edit]

Below the Human activity section, there is some empty space (it appears as a grey rectangle. It also says "printed by Jecterian Toyin". Looks like a silly mistake to me, I'll remove it. Helemaalnicks (talk) 13:00, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Suggested citation for Taiwan as area affected by acid rain[edit]

From the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau's own statistics on acid rain:

Yearly mean pH of rainfall shows acid rain consistently from 1999 onwards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:37, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Acid Rain Articles". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  2. ^ John Farndon(1999), "The Elements: Nitrogen", Marshall Cavendish Benchmark
  3. ^ "Acid rain". Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  4. ^ "CVO Website - Volcanoes and Weather". Retrieved 2009-12-05.