Acid Deposition: Unraveling a Regional Phenomenon

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Science  10 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4892, pp. 753-763
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4892.753


Because sources of sulfur and nitrogen oxides distributed broadly across eastern North America have greatly overlapping zones of influence, it is difficult to determine detailed relations between emissions and the resulting acid deposition. Although substantial progress has been made in the past decade in understanding the pertinent atmospheric processes and in describing them in numerical models, because of the complexities of these processes and the wide range of the time and space scales involved, credible source-receptor relations for regional-scale acid deposition are not yet at hand. Consequently, near-term strategies for reducing acid deposition should be based on considerations other than detailed atmospheric source-receptor relations, but with confidence that regional deposition will be reduced equivalently to any reduction in regional emissions.

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