Download Acid Rain: Report number 14 by Watt Committee on Energy Publications PDF

By Watt Committee on Energy Publications

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Extra resources for Acid Rain: Report number 14

Example text

Every summer since 1976, the research group at Imperial College, London, has grown plants in chambers with ambient or purified air at rural locations in southeast England as part of a programme designed to determine the impact of ambient O3 levels on British crop and wild species. Consistent reductions in growth of O3-sensitive cultivars of a range of species, including radish, dwarf bean, spinach and barley, have been detected in the ambient air chambers following the occurrence of elevated levels of O3; in contrast, little or no effect has been seen on O3-tolerant cultivars on the same occasions.

It is uncertain to what extent the sulphur components of coal smoke are accumulated in peat, but the profiles show the widespread accumulation of soot and heavy metals, such as lead, within peat formed since the Industrial Revolution. These pollutants would certainly have been accompanied by sulphur dioxide and it can be assumed, therefore, that much if not all of the region has been affected by man-made sulphur emissions, as well as by other pollutants, for at least two centuries. 3. During the twentieth century extensive monitoring systems have been established.

However, in view of the fact that SO2 pollution is normally accompanied by similar concentrations of NOx and that Oa occurs episodically, it seems more appropriate to examine the impact on plant growth of the addition of O3 to an SO2/NO2 mixture. Surprisingly, very few investigations of this type have been performed. 4 shows the results of a selection of such experiments. Until recently all reported cases showed either an additive or synergistic effect in response to the addition of O3 to SO2/NO2.

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