Ahead of his time: Jacob Lipman's 1930 estimate of atmospheric sulfur deposition for the conterminous United States

Soil Science
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Abstract

A 1936 New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin provided an early quantitative assessment of atmospheric deposition of sulfur for the United States that has been compared in this study with more recent assessments. In the early 20th century, anthropogenic sulfur additions from the atmosphere to the soil by the combustion of fossil fuels were viewed as part of the requisite nutrient supply of crops. Jacob G. Lipman, the founding editor of Soil Science, and his team at Rutgers University, made an inventory of such additions to soils of the conterminous United States during the economic depression of the 1930s as part of a federally funded project looking at nutrient balances in soils. Lipman's team gathered data compiled by the US Bureau of Mines on coal and other fuel consumption by state and calculated the corresponding amounts of sulfur emitted. Their work pioneered a method of assessment that became the norm in the 1970s to 1980s—when acid rain emerged as a national issue. Lipman's estimate of atmospheric sulfur deposition in the 1930 is in reasonable agreement with recent historic reconstructions.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Ahead of his time: Jacob Lipman's 1930 estimate of atmospheric sulfur deposition for the conterminous United States
Series title Soil Science
DOI 10.1097/SS.0000000000000118
Volume 180
Issue 3
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wolters Kluwer
Contributing office(s) NH/VT office of New England Water Science Center
Description 3 p.
First page 87
Last page 89
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N