August 20, 2009--We've come a long way toward curbing acid rain, but it's still around (Washington Post)

Rain in the eastern United States is still relatively acidic. In 2007, most rainwater in the region had a pH level between 4.3 and 4.8. (In the late 1970s and early 1980s, annual averages in the East were closer to 4.0.) According to Gary Lovett of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the natural pH for rainwater in the region is around 5.2. That might not seem like a big difference, but remember that pH is a logarithmic scale, not a linear one, so something with a pH of 4 is 10 times as acidic as something with a pH of 5. In short, much of the rainwater in the East is 2.5 to eight times as acidic as it should be. Meanwhile, surface waters are showing slow signs of recovery, but not in all areas.

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