Acid deposition is a major environmental issue caused by the emission of air pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides (SO2 and NOx) from industrial sources, power plants, and car exhausts. It causes acidification of soils, freshwaters, and ground water sources as well as harming forests, soils, and fisheries.

Acidity in the soil can impede plant growth or even stop it altogether. It also alters the chemical balance of nutrients within, potentially leading to plant toxicity. Furthermore, acid deposition alters the pH level of the soil which has an adverse effect on the microorganisms living there.

Acid deposition has many environmental consequences, such as forest decline, acidification of lakes and streams, acidified wetlands, loss of biodiversity, diminished ecosystem services, and potential human health hazards. These effects are caused by air pollution, acid rain, climate change, and droughts – a combination of factors.

The two primary pollutants responsible for atmospheric acidification are SO2 and NOX, both of which can be hazardous if inhaled deeply or breathed directly into the lungs. The fine sulfate and nitrate particles produced by SO2 and NOX pose a particular danger to people since they cause mucous production in the lungs which then reduces oxygen supply to the heart, leading to heart attacks or breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema.

Acid rain degrades land surfaces and can affect historic buildings and monuments by corroding metal elements of structures, and damaging paint and stone to reduce detail in statues, monuments, and tombstones.

Acid rain has also been known to erode mountainside cliffs. In Norway, for instance, the Lofoten Islands suffered severe erosion due to acid rain.

Acid rain is a serious environmental concern in parts of the United States and beyond, where many factories and power plants are situated. It pollutes lakes, rivers, and soils, killing fish and other aquatic life.

Environmental degradation not only has aesthetic value but can be economically important as well. Acid rain erodes landscapes and makes it harder for farmers to grow crops such as corn or potatoes. Furthermore, building houses or roads become costlier due to abrasive surfaces becoming abrasive and rough over time.

Some lakes in New York State are struggling with acid deposition and may never fully recover. This is because acid rain alters water’s chemical and pH balance, potentially making it too acidic for fish to survive in.

Acid rain can also pose a major threat to trees. Trees that are sensitive to acidity in the air will suffer damage or even die off entirely if exposed. In some cases, entire stands of trees may succumb entirely, leaving behind nothing but barren land.

Given the long-term consequences of acid deposition, it is imperative to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and other air pollutants. Doing so can help avoid acid rain from occurring and its detrimental environmental effects from becoming permanent.