Acid Rain

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by itsavantika
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecology
Grade:
8,9

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Acid Rain

ACID RAIN

What is acid rain?

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What are the causes of acid rain?

How can we reduce/prevent acid rain?

- Clean chimneys and exhaust pipes in factories- Reduce factories- Use alternative energy (this way you don't need to burn fossil fuels so there will be less acid going into the air) - Turn off your engine when at a red light - Reduce the concentration of acid allowed to be used (refer to Around the World section)

Acid rain is rain that has a low pH due to it’s excessive acid content. This rain is caused by harmful acids/gases and it is harmful to nature. Normal rain has the pH level of 5.6. Water is usually 7, being neutral but rain is slightly acidic because of the carbon dioxide gas that’s been dissolved into it into a weak carbonic acid form. The pH of acid rain can vary, once in the US the level had gone down to 4.3.

Plants, animals, humans and infrastructure is all affected by acid rain. Countries that don’t even release any chemicals into the air get acid rain because the wind carries them. Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway’s acid rain is all coming from pollution in Britain. Acid rain is very harmful to nature, especially forests. The rain goes into the ground and dissolves the nutrients (magnesium + calcium). Plants need nutrients to be healthy and without these the plants start to die. The rain also causes aluminum to be in the soil, this makes it harder for trees to get water through their roots. Plants up on mountains have a higher risk because they are closer and are directly exposed to the clouds and fog. In lakes and streams the acid rain has caused the pH to rise there. Aluminum not only goes into the soil but also into the water making it toxic and deadly for the aquatic life that inhabits the lake/stream. In people, the pollution can aggravate respiratory diseases (asthma, chronic bronchitis etc)/cause them. However these are not caused by the rain, but is by breathing the particles. Infrastructure can get damaged, rusty, look worn out and old because of the acid. For example, the Statue of Liberty was renovated on because of the damage from acid rain.

Rain is naturally slightly acidic but human activity has caused it to go lower down on the pH scale and become more acidic in some cases. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the two main gases that dissolve into rain unnaturally to create acid rain. Power plants release the majority of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere because they’re burn fossil fuels. The small things in daily life also release the gases, exhausts from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles. Acid rain is caused by the chemical reaction when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These gases rise up into the air, they mix with the clouds (water, oxygen and other chemicals). These two gases are easily soluble and are light so the wind carries them.

What are the effects of acid rain?

This diagram explains the process visually

Around the World..

Acid rain in Hong Kong goes down to an average pH of 4.4 but it has been known to go down all the way to 3.1 and it is not improving much, this is a global issue. Hong Kong is making ships entering it's port reduce their sulphur use to 0.5% to reduce acid rain.Most of the acid rain is in Britain and Scandinavian countries.

For example this forest in the Czech Republic that was damaged by acid rain

Bibliography"Measuring Acid Rain." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 11 May 2015. .EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. ."ACID RAIN : CAUSES, EFFECTS, AND SOLUTIONS." ACID RAIN : CAUSES, EFFECTS, AND SOLUTIONS. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. ."Kids 4 Clean Air | Pollution | Climate | Recycling." Kids 4 Clean Air | Pollution | Climate | Recycling. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. .EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. ."Keep Those Umbrellas Ready, Acid Rain Is Worst in 5 Years." South China Morning Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. .Acid Rain. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. .Acid Forest. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. ."Reducing Acid Rain." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 12 May 2015. .


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