Acid rain in Big Sur – February 2011

2 03 2011

Sunset at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur. Photo by Sonya Klinger.

February 2011 in Big Sur was typically wet. There were nine precipitation events totaling 5.75”. Readings were taken for eight events and the results are reported below.

Rainfall amounts and pH readings for February 2011 in Big Sur

February pH readings hovered between 4.6 and 4.75, except for a 4.91 event recorded on Feb. 20, which was followed by a 4.56 event recorded on Feb. 25. Such a large drop in pH (increase in acidity) in these back-to-back events may have something to do with the arrival of a record cold air mass from the north that occurred on Feb. 25. If, as is hypothesized, ocean ecosystems are contributing to the acidity of the rain (via biogenic sulfur emissions), then the arrival of cold air masses from the north where ocean productivity is relatively high may account for this sudden increase in acidity.

See my previous summary posts of acid rain in Big Sur here and here.

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