Acid Rain Case Study

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Rain is very important for life. All living things need water to live, even people. Rain brings us the water we need. But in many places in the world even where you live, rain has become a menace. Because of pollution in the air, acid gases from factories, cars and homes, the rain is becoming dangerous for the life of every living creature. This rain is known as 'acid rain'.

WHAT IS ACID RAIN? Acid gases are produced when fossil fuels like coal and oil are burned in power stations, factories and in our own homes. Most of these acid gases are blown into the sky, and when they mix with the clouds it can cause rain - or snow, sleet, fog, mist or hail - to become more acidic. The opposites of acid are alkalis; for example, toothpaste and baking powder are both alkalis. Strong alkalis can also be dangerous, such as ammonia and bleach. Lemon juice, vinegar and cola are all acidic. Rain is naturally acidic, but acid gases make it even more acidic, sometimes as acid as lemon! Nature can also produce acid gases, such as volcanoes. When they erupt, the smoke that comes out of the crater is also full of acid gases.

A PROBLEM ALL OVER THE WORLD Air pollution can be carried over long distances. When acid gases are released, they go high up in the sky, and then they are pushed by strong winds towards other countries. The acid rain in Sweden is caused by air pollution in Britain and other countries of Europe. The pollution produced in Britain ends up mostly in Scandinavia - countries in northern Europe including Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In the USA, the winds blow the air pollution to certain areas in Canada.

HOW BAD IS ACID RAIN? When rain is acidic, it...
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