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Old December 30 2013, 11:19 AM   #112
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Mars One - Unethical?

Spirit of Christmas Present

I'm not familiar with the situation in your home region and its causes, but globally, acid rain had minimal effects even before legislation was introduced to curtail emissions.

In the US, a 10-year government-sponsored study involving some 700 scientists and costing about $500 million reported in 1990 that “there is no evidence of a general or unusual decline of forests in the United States and Canada due to acid rain” and “there is no case of forest decline in which acidic deposition is known to be a predominant cause.”
In Germany, Heinrich Spiecker, director of the Institute for Forest Growth, was commissioned by a Finnish forestry organization to assess the health of European forests. He concluded that they were growing faster and healthier than ever and had been improving throughout the 1980s. “Since we began measuring the forest more than 100 years ago, there’s never been a higher volume of wood … than there is now,” Spiecker said. (Apparently, one of the chief ingredients of acid rain—nitrogen oxide—breaks down naturally to become nitrate, a fertilizer for trees.)

As for lakes, it turned out that their rising acidity was likely caused more by reforestation than by acid rain; one study suggested that the correlation between acidity in rainwater and the pH in the lakes was very low.

The story of acid rain is not of catastrophe averted but of a minor environmental nuisance somewhat abated.
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