Acid Rain, Effects And Causes


Acid rain is a term which is used to describe a variety of processes which might more accurately be referred to as acidic deposition. Natural rainfall is slightly acidic due to dissolved carbon dioxide, picked up in the atmosphere. Organisms and ecosystems all over the planet have adapted to the slightly acidic nature of normal rain, and thus it poses no environmental problems. It is an increase in the acidity of rain, caused by human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels, that has turned acid rain into a problem. Highly acidic rain can damage or destroy aquatic life, forests, crops and buildings, as well as posing a threat to human health.
The actual term "acid rain" was ...

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gone into identifying the sources of acid rain and the damage that it causes. As research continued, the situation reached catastrophe proportions in the late 1970's. By this time, thousands of lakes in Canada and Scandinavia had been declared dead, devoid of life, while emissions of acid gasses continued to rise.
Acid Rain Chemistry
As mentioned earlier, the term acid rain is used to describe a variety of different types of acidic deposition. These include "wet" deposition such as rain, snow and fog, as well as "dry" deposition in the form of acidic gases and dust. The term acid rain is only used to describe deposition which is more acidic than normal. Acidity is measured on the pH scale, a scale which runs from zero to 14, distilled water, which contains no carbon dioxide, has a neutral pH of seven. On the scale, pH levels below seven represent acidic solutions, while those above seven are alkaline. Testing of the pH is usually performed by litmus paper which responds to the ...

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direction brings storms and pollution to the Northeast from the Midwest, and dust from the soil and rocks in the Northeastern United States is less likely to neutralize acidity in the rain.
More than 90% of the SO2 and NOx present in the atmosphere over eastern North America is a result of human activities. The major sources of sulfur emissions are coal (and to a lesser extent, oil) burning electric power plants, and industries such as ore smelting. Together, these two industries account for more than 70% of the sulfur emissions in North America. About 40% of NOx emissions come from the transportation sector, (cars, trucks, planes etc.). The rest are emitted from fossil fuel fired ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/14/2007 01:44:37 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1954
Pages: 8

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