WILL MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Silhouette of trees in the Appalachian Mountains, killed by acid rain. Acid rain is one of the best- known forms of airborne pollution, and comes from the formation of sulphuric, nitric and nitrous acids in the atmosphere. Sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are released in the exhaust gases of many industrial processes, most notably in the burning of fossil and biomass fuels for energy production and motor transport. These gases react with the moisture in the air, and return to the ground either as mists or in rain. Acid rain is a major environmental problem affecting vast areas of North America and Europe and is only now being legislated against.
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