Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Acid rain is more accurately referred to as acid deposition since acidity is deposited in both the wet and dry form. Acid rain results from the conversion of sulfur and nitrogen gases to sulfates and nitrates, respectively. In the United States, sulfur compounds are responsible for about two-thirds of the acidity in precipitation; nitrogen compounds, one-third. In 1980, man-made sources in the United States emitted approximately 26 million tons of sulfur dioxide and 21 million tons nitrogen oxides. Within the United States, the major sources of sulfur dioxide emissions, approximately 90-95% of the total, are electric generating utilities, industrial boilers, and industrial processes. Utilities, mobile sources and industry produce greater than 95% of the nations manmade nitrogen oxide emissions. Future emissions of both sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide will depend upon three factors: future demands for energy, the type of energy to be used, and the rate at which existing pollution sources are replaced with new lower emission sources which are more tightly controlled under the Clean Air Act.