Study tries to pinpoint future acidification hot spots
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — You’ve heard about acid mine drainage and ocean acidification, but the problems don’t end there.
After reviewing a slew of scientific papers from different disciplines, researchers found that combustion of fossil fuels, smelting of ores, mining of coal and metal ores, and application of nitrogen fertilizer to soils are all driving down the pH of the air, water, and the soil at rates far faster than Earth’s natural systems can buffer. That could pose threats to both land and sea life.
“It’s a bigger picture than most of us know,” said Janet Herman of the Department of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
In their work, Herman and USGS researcher Karen Rice tried to anticipate future acidification hot spots to enable communities to plan proactively and mitigate the harmful environmental effects, says Herman. (more…)