Is Sierra Nevada at acid threshold?



Three University of California, Santa Barbara, scientists have reported that even though rain and snowmelt with elevated levels of acidity have been found in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, acid has not yet harmed the lakes and streams. The researchers warn, though, that the same lakes and streams appear to be vulnerable to future increases in acid levels.

The study, reported August 17 at the Davis, Calif., meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, was conducted at Emerald Lake in Sequoia National Park. The lake is considered representative of lakes in the region and has a pH in the low end of the neutral range (6.2–6.5), so it is more susceptible to acidification.