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Troubled Skies Troubled Waters What are the effects of acid rain in the metropolitan New York area…New York City, Brooklyn, and Ridgefield, Connecticut?

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Presentation on theme: "Troubled Skies Troubled Waters What are the effects of acid rain in the metropolitan New York area…New York City, Brooklyn, and Ridgefield, Connecticut?"— Presentation transcript:


2 Troubled Skies Troubled Waters What are the effects of acid rain in the metropolitan New York area…New York City, Brooklyn, and Ridgefield, Connecticut? How does the rain in each area have an impact on the health of a lake (marine ecosystem)?

3 Background:…A power plant in Northeastern Pennsylvania… Burns fossil fuels and emits sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the air. The stacks are 164 feet high.

4 Eco Thought Pollution from a chimney 33 feet high travels about 75 miles a day. Pollution from a chimney 164 feet high travels about 105 miles a day.

5 Winds Carry Gases 105 Miles from the power plant…. A westerly wind carries the gases SO2 (sulfur dioxide) and NOx (nitrogen oxides) until it meets with moisture in the atmosphere over New York City and southwestern Connecticut.

6 Sulfur and nitrogen oxide enter the atmosphere and team up with H2O to produce: sulfuric and nitric acid And so the rain that falls is called “acid”, because it has a pH below 5.0

7 “Acid Rain” falls on these lakes: Lake in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York Lake in Central Park, New York City Lake Mamanasco, Ridgefield, Connecticut


9 Is “Acid Rain” Only Wet? WetDry Acid Rain Rain…Snow…Hail…Sleet…Fog Dry Particulates… Smog


11 Hypothesis Background The algae population of a lake in each area (New York City, Brooklyn, and Ridgefield, Connecticut) will reflect its health and pH level.

12 Procedure After recording 11 samples from each area, establish the average pH of the precipitation Using EMD pH indicator strips, establish the pH of each sample and label Collect rain and snow samples in sterile jars over a period of 7 weeks…(done in each geographic area)

13 Procedure…….(cont.)  With access to 3 lakes… New York City, Brooklyn, and Ridgefield, Connecticut  Collect 3 (1 liter) samples from each lake…using a closable container to scoop the water from the surface…  Repeat the procedure in each lake…keeping the collection process consistent  Cap each collection sample and label  Return with samples to home lab

14 Procedure…(cont.)  Set up the “plankton collection net”  Pour water out of each 1 liter container …using the 3 samples collected for each lake  Establish the pH of each lake  Completing the collection process, after the water from Lake 1 is processed, (collection tube is filled with plankton) distribute the contents into 3 (100ml) beakers…top off with distilled water if needed …to reach top of beaker  Repeat process on water from Lake 2 & 3

15 Procedure (cont.)  There are now 9 samples of plankton filled water ( 3 from each lake)  Using a pipette to put a.1 ml drop of each sample on a slide after gently stirring the water…cover with cover slip…and put  Under a compound microscope  Using a plankton identification guide  Count and score each algae identified using the Palmer Pollution Index

16 Procedure Repeat the procedure 2X (from the counting and identification point) using the next 100ml beakers

17 Needed for Plankton Identification Use pictures and drawings for id.

18 Palmer Pollution Index In 1969 Mervin Palmer, a scientist, developed a composite rating of algae and their toleration of organic pollution. The index lists 20 algal genera and their corresponding pollution values. If there are 50 or more specimens per milliliter of water ….a pollution index score can be obtained.

19 Scientists in 1969 developed a method to determine the level of organic pollution in a sample of fresh water (lake, pond, or river) by studying the algae (plankton ) in a sample of water. A pollution index of 1-5 was assigned to each of 20 types of algae that are most tolerant to organic pollution. Types of algae most tolerant of organic pollution were assigned a factor of 5. Less tolerant types were assigned a lower number. The index is called the Palmer Pollution Index. Organisms that drift around in bodies of both fresh and salt water and do not have the swimming strength to win the battle against currents are called plankton. The plantlike single –celled organisms, such as algae, that produce their own food from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, are known as phytoplankton. Phytoplankton, due to their abundance and presence at the base of the food chain, are very important organisms in aquatic ecosystems.

20 Palmer Scores…… Palmer, C. Mervin. 1969. A composite rating of algae tolerating organic pollution. Journal of Phycology. 5 (1): 78-82 <15 15- 19 20 or more Low organic pollution Moderate pollution Evidence of high organic pollution


22 Precipitation Samples & pH Levels pH Averages: Manhattan: 5.40; Brooklyn: 4.02; Connecticut: 4.80

23 3 Lakes….3 pH Levels pH New York City Brooklyn Ridgefield, Ct. pH 6.80 pH 5.60 pH 6.0


25 GeneraCentral Park Prospect Conn. lake Palmer TRIALLake #1Lake #2Lake #3Park #1Park #2Park #3#1#2#3Scale # BULBOCHAETEXXXXXX0 CHORELLAXXXXXXXX3 CLOSTERIUMXXX1 EUGLENAXXX5 MICRACTINIUMXXXXX1 OSCILLATORIAXXXX5 PANDORINAXXXXXX1 PEDESTRIUMXXXXXX0 PHACUSXXXXXX2 SCENEDESMUSXXX4 STAURASTRUMXXX0 STIGEOCLONIUMXXXXX2 SYNEDRAXX2 Palmer Index Count1312112019 989 Average1219.338.66 Data Collected from Different Lakes in Three Locations The Palmer Results Below are Tangible Proof:

26 Palmer Index Scores Average of 3 calculated Palmer Pollution Index Scores for the 3 Lakes ( 12 ) ( 19.33 ) ( 8.66 )

27 Lake in Central Park Palmer Index Counts 1.13 2.12 3.11 Average: 12 Lake in Prospect Pk. Palmer Index Counts 1.20 2.19 3.19 Average: 19.33 Lake Mamanasco, Ct. Palmer Index Counts 1.9 2.8 3.9 Average: 8.66 With a Palmer Count of 19.33, the Lake in Prospect Park shows an algae population that exhibits a pollution index which is quite high. Many of its genera of algae are found in polluted waters.

28 Interpretation of Data (cont.) Both The Lake in Central Park Lake Mamanasco, Ct. Scored below 14 (12 & 8.66) on the Palmer Pollution Index…which indicates …low or absence of organic pollution

29 The pH levels of rain collected in Brooklyn, which was acidic (pH 4.02), and the pH level of the Lake in Prospect Park,…also acidic….at (pH 5.60)…..and a Pollution Index score of nearly 20 (19) showed evidence of organic pollution and generally a more vulnerable ecosystem with more evident signs of poor marine health. The other two lakes showed similar relationships; however the acid levels and pollution levels were not as great. Was Proven CONCLUSION

30 If I were to do this experiment again: 1Do the test during different seasons (e.g.) summer, spring, and fall, when weather and light will be different 2When establishing a local rain pH ( try not to use snow) (e.g.) only summer or spring 3More attention could be given to the bedrock formation of each lake….e.g. limestone or granite

31 DamageAcid Rain Views of

32 Acid Rain Damage to Forests

33 Acid Rain Damage to Buildings & Monuments Building Facades Cleopatra’s Needle: Central Park, New York City Statues and Monuments

34 Damage to Human Health If SO2 (sulfur dioxide) is breathed in, the moisture in the lungs can turn it into sufuric acid, and do harm.

35 The Death of A Lake… Australia Crystal clear blue waters……but, no life…..a dead lake from acid rain damage

36 In the words of Al Gore…… This apostle of all things digital is the first to admit that technology alone will not reverse the damage done. He says it’s going to take ‘a shift in consciousness.’ Time Magazine, January, 2008

37 “ “shift in Consciousness”…state of awareness, especially of something within ourselves……. Apply “new” technologies…..CLEAN Coal …taking out the sulphur…..hydrogen fuel cell cars & busses…..use of wind and solar power, Clean air laws for the entire world Global spiritual revival and a cleaner Earth

38 August Dennis and Daniel Gomes

39 Works Cited Books Boyle, Robert H. Acid Rain, New York: Random House, April, 1993 Dashefsky, H. Environmental Science. New York: McGraw-Hill,1994 Edmonds, Alex. A Closer Look At Acid Rain, Brookfield, Ct.: Copper Beech Books, l997 Luoma, Jon. Troubled Skies, Troubled Waters: The Story of Acid Rain. New York: Viking Press (Adult), January, 1984 Morgan, S. Acid Rain, Boston: Grolier Publishing, 1999 Parks, Peggy, J. Acid Rain, Farmington, Michigan: Kid Haven Press, May, 2006 Tyson, Peter, Acid Rain-Earth At Risk, New York: Chelsea House Publications, February, l992 Encyclopedia Banister, Keith. Campbell, Andrew, “Drifters and Wanderers…The Ecology of Plankton.” The Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life, 1985.

40 Works Cited (cont.) Journals Cairns, J., “Algae as Indicators of Environmental Change”, Journal of Applied Phycology, vol. 6, Numbers 5-6, December, l994. Jafari, N. G. “Assessment of a freshwater pollution index using Palmer And Niggard’s indices with special reference to phytoplankton”, International Journal on Algae, vol. 8, Issue 2, 2006. Palmer, Mervin. “A composite rating of algae tolerating organic Pollution”, Journal of Phycology and International Journal of Algal Research, vol. 5, Issue 1, March, 1969.

41 Works Cited (cont.) Magazine Articles Bono, “Al Gore, The Former Vice President, now a Nobel laureate, has become America’s environmental conscience”, Time Jan. 2008, 96-98. Scherer, Glenn, “The Ecology of Trail Lands, Part 3: A Dirty, Deadly, Rain is a Fallin’…Air Pollution Over American Trails, American Hiker: October 10, 2000 Studies Boylen, Sutherland, Bloomfield, “Phytoplankton Species vs pH”, The Adirondack Effects Assessment Program, Polytechnic Institute & Bureau of Watershed Assessment, May, l992. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, “Acid Rain…sources and Effects in Connecticut, New Haven: January, 1983. Howard, H. H. Phytoplankton Studies of Adirondack Mountain Lakes, Skidmore College, Saratoga, Springs, N.Y: October, 1968. Sexton, M. Comparative Lake Study of 5 Lakes in the Adirondack Region, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, August, 1995.

42 Works Cited (cont.) Website or Webpage Algaebase (culture collection of algae and protozoa), January, 2008 Environment Canada, Acid Rain FAQ, Environment Canada, Acid Rain and the Facts, Environmental Education & Outdoor Monitoring Products, What are you testing? Plankton Net…Project: Make Your Own Plankton Net:

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