On October 24, 1967, the influential Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published an article with a rather boring title, “The Acidification of Precipitation.” The message, however, was new and radical. The author, Svante Odén, claimed that “there is a more or less permanent cupola of polluted air over Europe.” Sulfur, he wrote, being emitted in large quantities by power plants and industries all over Europe, was being transported through the air over vast distances and transformed into sulfuric acid through chemical processes in the atmosphere. Odén, an associate professor of soil science, further argued that when rain or snow brought the airborne sulfuric acid down, usually in places far away from where the emissions had taken place, it lowered the pH values in streams and lakes. In Sweden and Norway, this in turn drastically diminished the fish populations in many lakes. Moreover, he predicted that increasing acidity would reduce the future biological productivity of forests and of cultivated land, particularly so in the Nordic countries, which had soils that were especially sensitive to acidification.1
KeywordsRadio Station Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Comecon Country Swedish Newspaper LRTAP Convention
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