Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract Acid rain has been an issue of great concern in North America and Europe during the past several decades. However, due to the passage of a number of recent regulations, most notably the Clean Air Act in the United States in 1990, there is an emerging perception that the problem in these Western nations is nearing solution. The situation in the developing world, particularly in Asia, is much bleaker. Given the policies of many Asian nations to achieve levels of development comparable with the industrialized world—which necessitate a significant expansion of energy consumption (most derived from indigenous coal reserves)—the potential for the formation of, and damage from, acid deposition in these developing countries is very high. This article delineates and assesses the emissions patterns, meteorology, physical geology, and biological and cultural resources present in various Asian nations. Based on this analysis and the risk factors to acidification, it is concluded that a number of areas in Asia are currently vulnerable to acid rain. These regions include Japan, North and South Korea, southern China, and the mountainous portions of Southeast Asia and southwestern India. Furthermore, with accelerated development (and its attendant increase in energy use and production of emissions of acid deposition precursors) in many nations of Asia, it is likely that other regions will also be affected by acidification in the near future. Based on the results of this overview, it is clear that acid deposition has significant potential to impact the Asian region. However, empirical evidence is urgently needed to confirm this and to provide early warning of increases in the magnitude and spread of acid deposition and its effects throughout this part of the world.
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