THOMAS NILSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS NILSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acid rain damage to trees. Dead and dying trees in a once-thriving taiga forest due to the effects of acid rain and fumes from a nearby nickel smelting plant. The plant emits sulphurous pollutants which dissolve in atmospheric water to form acid. Normal rain has a pH of 5.6 but the gases acidify it to a pH of 4-4.5. Aquatic organisms are also affected as lakes and streams are acidified. Particles emitted by the factory also settle in nearby areas as a poisonous dust. Photographed near Monchegorsk in the Kola peninsula, northern Russia. This area is amongst the most polluted in Russia.
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