The gases responsible for acid deposition are normally a byproduct of electric power generation and the burning of coal. As such, it began entering the atmosphere in large amounts during the Industrial Revolution and was first discovered by a Scottish chemist, Robert Angus Smith, in 1852. In that year, he discovered the relationship between acid rain and atmospheric pollution in Manchester, England.
Acid rain is having harmful effects both on people and on the natural ecosystems of the world. Scientists today are convinced that acid rain is severe in many areas, and that it is having an adverse effect on the environments of those locations.