Acid rain study in Gulf of Mexico


  • Anonymous


As part of the continuing investigation into the sources and mechanisms of acid rain, a research project sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will attempt this summer to find out if natural substances blowing inland from the Gulf of Mexico might be partly responsible for the acidic rain that afflicts the midwestern and eastern United States.

A research team flying a Beechcraft twin-engine airplane will sample air quality at various points offshore, along the Gulf Coast, and inland to measure concentrations of chemicals that are “acid precursors.” These precursors—sulfate, sulfur-containing gases, and alkaline materials—form naturally in the Gulf, its estuaries and coastal wetlands, according to the project's principal investigator, Rudolf F. Pueschel of NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories. The chemicals rise into the atmosphere and are carried inland by onshore winds; the NOAA study group would like to know more about their concentration as they move northward over the continent.