Which does more harm, drought or acid rain?

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drought  

Image by Brian Hursey

It’s a good question – which do you think does more harm to the environment?  Drought or acid rain?  In actuality, it could be a toss up between the two – and one sometimes does have an effect on the other.

According to the U.S. Drought monitor there are quite a few regions in the U.S. that are currently experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions.  Almost the entirety of California is experiencing moderate to severe droughts right now.

And if you are like me and live in California, you know it to be true.  Just this month we’ve experienced record breaking heat – it was 94 degrees in downtown LA the other day (this time of year is usually about 79 degrees according to the news).  That’s way too hot at this time of year.  And due to the lack of rain, it also leaves us open to a longer fire season with a lot more fuel to burn.  (But we are starting to get some sprinkles this morning finally!)

Acid rain on the other hand also has a dramatic impact on the environment.  Especially in places where there are a lot of power plants (specifically ones that produce the electricity most of us use daily), acid rain has evolved into a widespread problem.

A major factor with acid rain is that it is not just harmful to the people, plants, animals and environment immediately nearby the power plants.  Places nowhere near power plants can also be adversely affected by acid rain due to the fact that pollutants (such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide) are released into the air and can be carried by clouds and wind for long distances.  Take a look at this Acid Rain animation by the EPA to learn more.

Which do you think does more harm to the environment – drought or acid rain?  And if you have any steps you have taken to reduce the harm caused by either, let me know – I’d love to hear them!

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