Another tragedy to hit the taiga biome is acid rain. Acid rain is formed when pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide, from burning gas, and sulfur dioxide, from burning coal, are released into the air and mix with water vapor to form a cloud. If these toxic clouds become heavy with water and precipitation falls, the result can be devastating to vegetation, animals, and the land. Since the rain from these clouds is acidic, large spreads of land can be destroyed. In some parts of Scandinavia and Russia, vast areas of the taiga have slowly died off because of acid rain.
Any threat to the taiga biome causes problems to the whole biome. For instance, if any plot of land is clear-cut in the taiga, the soil will wash away in a heavy rain because there are no plants to anchor it down. Once the soil is eroded away it takes many years for the soil to form again. Therefore, the land in that area will remain without plants until more soil can form. Erosion of the soil also causes water pollution and clogs up rivers and streams.
The water pollution caused by erosion does not compare to the pollution caused by paper mills and mines. Pollutants from these industries muddy and poison the water. Fish and plants absorb these poisons from the water and any animal, or even human, that eats them may die. Scientists predict that, in some places, it can take hundreds of years before the water and soil near these factories is free of all poisonous pollutants.
Trees help limit harmful greenhouse gases by absorbing carbon dioxide, one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases on earth. If trees in the taiga are destroyed, more amounts of carbon dioxide will escape into the atmosphere. As gas levels go up, the earth's temperature will also rise, causing cataclysmic events all over the world.