Acid Rain

Topics: Acid rain, Air pollution, Sulfur dioxide Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Acid Rain

Within this past century, acidity of the air and acid rain have become recognized as one of the leading threats to our planet's environment. No longer limited by geographic boundaries, acid causing emissions are causing problems all over the world. Some laws have been passed which limit the amount of pollutants that are released into the air, but tougher legislation must be implemented before this problem can be overcome.

Acid rain is produced, when automobiles, smelters, power plants, and other industrial factories burn fossil fuels such as gasoline, coal, and fuel oils. When combusted, the non renewable resources release pollutants such as sulfur, carbon and nitrogen oxides into the air. These oxide combine with the humidity in the air and form sulfuric, nitric and carbonic acid. This acidic solution eventually condenses in the air and comes back down to the earth in any from of precipitation (snow, rain, hail).

Upon returning to the earth, the acidic precipitation can have serious repercussions on both the environment and as well as human structures. On average, acid rain is about nine times more acidic than rain water, and has been recorded as low as 2.5 on the pH scale (forty times more acidic than water.) Acid deposition kill fish, soil bacteria, and as well as aquatic and terrestrial plants. the acid also drain the soil of essential nutrients such as aluminum and releases them into bodies of water such as streams, lakes, and ponds. These bodies of water develop highly concentrated levels of these nutrients which can really harm the aquatic life forms in that area Those areas without any alkaline metal deposits in the soil to neutralize some of the acid are hurt the most by this destructive force, destroying crops, trees and even killing an entire pond or lake. Acid rain is also a strong destructive force against man made structures, reacting with marble, plastics and rubber.

The problem of acid rain is derived mostly from northern...
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