Acidic deposition: Concern for the future of Caspian region

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

The University of Guilan, P.O. Box 3489, Rasht, IRAN

10.22124/cjes.2003.3833

Abstract

After almost three decades of intensive research on acidic deposition, it is still an important environmental issue in Europe '- and North America. Furthermore, anthropogenic emissions of the major pollutants involved _ sulfur dioxide (S02) and nitrogen oxides (NO) __ are increasing rapidly as industrialization proceeds and the use of fossil fuels increases in new geographical areas, including parts of eastern and southern Asia, southern Africa, and South America. These pollutants and their transformation products have long atmospheric lifetimes and can be carried by weather systems to distances of up to a few thousand kilometers from their point of emission. This causes acid deposition far from the primary source of pollution, thus making it a regional problem and an international transboundary issue. Considerable
advances in the understanding of acidic emissions, transportation, deposition and consequent effects on ecosystems have allowed the development of the concept of “Critical loads", which has become an integral part of international negotiations aimed at controlling emission levels within Europe. Abatement strategies based on the critical load concept resulted in substantial decreases of acidic emissions, which have led to a lower degree of environmental degradation and even recovery in deposition. Some ecosystems in eastern Asia, where a regional acid monitoring network [El-WET) is some ecosystems in eastern Asia, a regional acid already established implementation of some abatement strategies is under consideration. Economic progress in the Caspian region is associated with an increase in the oil and gas production, industrialization and a higher demand for energy and food production. On the basis of previous experiences, such a progress will definitely lead to a considerable increase in emissions of acidifying pollutants. It is important that the environmental impacts of these emissions are estimated and taken into account in the planning process. The impact study is  especially very crucial for the highly"
sensitive ecosystem of the southern Caspian watershed. If less polluting techniques are applied in the region, environmental problems, like those experienced in Europe and North America may be lessened. A rational strategy for limiting the adverse effects of acidifying pollutants should include consideration of critical loads and critical levels. So far, only preliminary estimates of critical loads are available for some parts of the regionand there is a real need for regionalresearch programs in this regard.
Experience from policy actions, especially in the European region, could also be very useful for the Caspian states. There is, indeed, an obligation for environmental
scientists to promote communication and cooperation with policymaking and decision-making sectors of the Caspian societies hoping that they can have better, if not the best, policy options to prevent further environmen-tal deterioration.
 
References
Battarbee, R.W. et al. 1985.Lake acidification in Galloway: A palaeoecologicai test of competing hypotheses. Nature, 314: 350.
Brodin, Y. and Kuylenstiema, J 1992. Acidification and critical loads in Nordic
countries: A background. Ambic, 2 1, No. 5:332.
Cerny, l and Paces, T. (eds) 1995. Acidification in the Black Triangle Region. C.G.S, Prague.
Charles, D.F. 1991. Effects of acidic deposition on North American lakes: Palaeolimnological evidence from diatoms and chryophtes. Phil- Trans. R. Soc. London, B327: 403.
Cowling, E.B. 1982. A historical resume of progress in scientific and public understanding of acid precipitation and its consequences. Environ. Soi.'l'ech., 16: 1 10A.
Elvingson, P. 1996. Evidence of continued decline. Acid News, 5: 6. Erisman, J.W. et al. 1994a. A generalized description of the deposition acidifying pollutants on a small scale in Europe. in: Borrei et al. (eds.), The proc. of EUROTRC symp.'94. Academic, 588p.
Galloway, J.N. 1995. Acid deposition: Perspectives in time and space. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 85: 15.
Galloway, J.N. 2001. Acidification of the World: Natural and Anthropogenic. Water, Air, and Soil  pollution, 130: 17.
Havas, M. and Rosseland, B.0. 1995. Response of zooplankton, benthos and fish to acidification: An overview. water, Airand Soil Pollution, 85: 5 1.
i-lenrikson, A. et al. 1992. Critical loads of acidity: Nordic surface waters. Ambio, 21: 356.
Hultberg, H and Grennfelt. P. 1991. Sulphur and sea salt deposition as reflected by throughfall and runoff chemistry in forested catchments. lVL,  Bl009, Swedish Environ mental Research  institute, Goteborg, Sweden.
 
Lovblad, G. et al. 1992. Deposition of sulfur and nitrogen in the Nordic countries: Present and future Ambio, 2 1, No. 5: 339.
 
Matzner, E. and Murach, D. 1995. Soil changes induced by air pollutant deposition and their implication for forests in Central Europe. Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 85: 63.
 
Oden, S. 1968.The acidification of air and precipitation and its consequences in the natural environment Ecological Committee Bulletin 1, Swedish Natural Science Research Council, Stockholm. Translations Consultants, Ltd. Arlington, USA.
 
Renberg, I. et al. 1991. Recent acidification and biological changes in Lilla Oresjon, southwest Sweden, and the relation to atmospheric pollution and land-use history. Phil, Trans. R. Soc. London, B327: 391.
 
RGAR 1997. Acid deposition in die United Kingdom, 1992-1994. Fourth report of the Review Group on Acid Ram, Department on Environment.
 
Rodhe, H. et al. 1995. Acid Rain 95? Summary Statement from the 5th International  conference On Acidic- Deposition Science and Policy. Gothenburg, Sweden, 26 . -30 June 1995: Kluwer Academic.
 
Satake, K. et al. 2001. Acid Rain 2000 — Conference Summary Statement —Looking Back to the past and Thinking of the Future. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution,_130: 1.
 
Streets, D.G. and Waldhoff, S.T. 2000: Present and future emissions of air pollutants in China: S02, No, and CO. Atmospheric Environment, 34: 363.
 
UN ECE 1988. Conclusions and draft recommendations of the workshops on critical levels for forests, crops and materials and on critical loads for sulfur and nitrogen, EB. AlRIR 30, Geneva.
 
UN ECE 1997. Forest condition in Europe. Results of the 1996 crown condition survey, 1997 Technical Report. Brussels, Belgium.