Acid Precipitation and Sulfate Deposition in Florida

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Science  30 May 1980:
Vol. 208, Issue 4447, pp. 1027-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.208.4447.1027


The acidity of rainfall in Florida has increased markedly in the past 25 years, and the average sulfate and nitrate concentrations have increased by factors of 1.6 and 4.5, respectively, over the period. Annual average pH values below 4.7 now occur over the northern three quarters of the state. Summer rainfall has average pH values 0.2 to 0.3 unit lower than winter rainfall, and sulfate concentrations at most sites are higher in summer. The annual deposition of H+ (about 300 to 500 equivalents per hectare) in northern Florida is a third to a half of the deposition in the heavily impacted northeastern United States; comparable figures for excess sulfate (derived from sulfur dioxide) are 7 to 11 kilograms of sulfur per hectare or 50 to 90 percent of the sulfate deposition rates at Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire.