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Mission: Acid Rain

Dyson, a time traveller from outer space, needs your help to stop acid rain from destroying his planet!

Join him on an interactive journey to the Killarney region of Northern Ontario, an area in which lakes have shown striking variability in response to acid pollution. Travel through time, and get up close to many of the animals that live in these lakes, as you help Dyson discover how acid rain affects biodiversity. Measure pH, crack rocks, and sample life as you learn why lakes vary in their sensitivity to acid rain, and find out what you can do to reduce pollution on your own planet!

Mission: Acid Rain is packed with up-to-date scientific data, animation, interactivity, and dynamic graphics to encourage investigative learning. This CD-ROM encourages students to explore complex environmental issues and illustrates the interrelationships of science, technology, and society.

Mission: Acid Rain allows students to travel through time to learn about acid rain damage to Northern Ontario's Killarney Lakes.

Killarney Provincial Park is dominated by the La Cloche Mountains. Composed primarily of glass-like orthoquartzite, these white mountains are highly resistant to erosion and provide little buffering capacity against acid rain. In addition, Killarney Provincial Park is located only 50 kilometres southwest of the large metal smelters in Sudbury and lies within a zone of high acid deposition. So, not surprisingly, the Killarney Lakes were among the first lakes in North America to be acidified by atmospheric pollutants.

Some lakes began to acidify as early as the 1920s and, by the late 1970s, dozens of the three hundred lakes in the Park were severely impacted. Lake pH levels plummeted. Thousands of individual populations of fish, crayfish, algae, aquatic insects, and microscopic plankton were lost. Many bird species were also affected.

Between the 1960s and the mid 1990s a combination of government regulations and modernization initiatives by industry reduced emissions from Sudbury's smelters by over 80%! The beneficial effects of these emission reductions have begun in many of the acid-stressed lakes in Killarney Park. But, despite these improvements, many of Killarney's lakes are still quite acidic.

By visiting several Killarney lakes with varying levels of acid rain damage, you can test water quality (including pH, food web, and Secchi disc), see what animals have survived, and learn how the underlying bedrock makes a difference! Explore what is acid rain, how it affects lakes, and finally what you can do to help stop acid rain!

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/NT, 16 MB RAM, 800x600 high colour display (1000s of colours), 16-bit sound card, 4X CD-ROM


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