An introduction to acid rain

The burning of fossil fuels coal, oil and gas produces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which can increase the acidity of rain or other precipitation.

Although media attention has shifted towards other environmental issues such as global warming, acid rain continues to be a problem at the beginning of the 21st century.

Once acids have formed, they can be transported long distances by the wind before being deposited in rain, snow or hail. For example, nitrogen pollution in our coastal waters is partially responsible for declining fish and shellfish populations in some areas.

However, during the s many countries started to notice changes in fish populations in lakes and damage to certain trees. There was a decrease in species diversity, an increase in community dominants, and a decrease in the food web complexity. Acid rain also contains nitrogen, and this can have an impact on some ecosystems.

Some of the things we can do include using our car less for short journeys and walking or cycling instead, and saving more energy that we use at home, for heating, lighting and cooking. Nitric acid in rainwater is an important source of fixed nitrogen for plant life, and is also produced by electrical activity in the atmosphere such as lightning.

Scientists generally use the term acid deposition but all three terms relate to the same issue. What Causes Acid Rain? That aluminum may be harmful to plants as well as animals.

Effects of Acid Rain

Emissions of such pollutants are heavily concentrated in the northern hemisphere, especially in Europe and North America. International legislation during the s and s has led to reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions in many countries but reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides have been much less.

The Long-Term Monitoring LTM Network measures and monitors surface water chemistry at over sites to provide valuable information on aquatic ecosystem health and how water bodies respond to changes in acid-causing emissions and acid deposition.

Public awareness of acid rain in the U. Ina group of scientists including Gene Likens discovered the rain that was deposited at White Mountains of New Hampshire was acidic. When acid deposition is washed into lakes and streams, it can cause some to turn acidic.

When power stations, factorieshouses and cars emit pollution into the air, it contains chemicals known as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Congress passed an Acid Deposition Act.

Unlike wet deposition, dry deposition is difficult and expensive to measure. Precipitation is naturally acidic because of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is then blown by the wind and deposited as acid rain in countries such as Canada, Norway, Sweden and Finland, which lie hundreds of miles downwind from the source of the pollution.

Acid depositionacid rain and acid precipitation all relate to the chemistry of air pollution and moisture in the atmosphere.

In areas such as mountainous parts of the Northeast United States, the soil is thin and lacks the ability to adequately neutralize the acid in the rain water. The problem of acid rain is hence not a new one but the nature of the problem has changed from being a local problem for towns and cities to being an international problem.

Winds can blow SO2 and NOX over long distances and across borders making acid rain a problem for everyone and not just those who live close to these sources. The sulfuric and nitric acids formed in the atmosphere fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail.

The trees are then less able to absorb sunlight, which makes them weak and less able to withstand freezing temperatures. The pH of the sample was measured to be 4. We can all help reduce air pollution that causes acid rain. Acid rain can have harmful impacts on the environment. Congress passed a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act.

This pollution is released several hundred feet up through tall chimneys to keep the air at ground level cleaner.

What is Acid Rain?

Clean technology was used to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide gases being released into the air.Acid rain falling over most of the world has little environmental effect on the biosphere because it is rapidly neutralized after it falls.

In particular, acid rain falling over the oceans is rapidly neutralized. Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it has elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure.

Acid rain, also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, precipitation possessing a pH of about or below primarily produced from the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO 2) and nitrogen oxides (NO x; the combination of NO and NO 2) from human activities, mostly the combustion of fossil fuels.

Effects of Acid Rain on Materials.

Not all acidic deposition is ultimedescente.commes dust particles can become acidic as well, and this is called dry acid rain and dry acidic particles fall to earth, the nitric and sulfuric acid that make the particles acidic can land on statues, buildings, and other manmade structures, and damage their surfaces.

Introduction: Acid rain is a serious and dangerous problem because it is very harmful to the environment. It is a rain that has a very high concentration of acid-forming chemicals.

These chemicals have been released into the atmosphere and joint with water vapor. Basically acid rain could damage everything over a short period of time and that. Introduction to Acid Rain.

Introduction to Acid Rain and the Ozone

Acid rain is a widespread term used to describe all forms of acid precipitation (rain, snow, hail, fog, etc.). Atmospheric pollutants, particularly oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, can cause precipitation to become more acidic when converted to sulphuric and nitric acids, hence the term acid rain.

An introduction to acid rain
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