Acid Rain and its Impact Essay

Acid Rain and its Impact Essay

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Rain is a major component of the water cycle as it is held responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on Earth. (EPA USA, 2014) It not only provides suitable conditions for various ecosystems, but also provides water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation. (Andrei, 2012) However, since the start of industrialization in the 18th century, humans have been abusing such important features of life and created acid deposition. (The Ledger, 2014)
The pH scale is composed of values starting from zero, the most acidic, to 14.0, the most alkaline. (EPA USA, 2014) While regular rain has a pH value of around 5.6, acid rain has a pH value of around 4.0. The highest level of acidity of rain ever recorded was identical to the acidity of lemon juice, which is enough to irritate the human skin. (Andrei, 2012)
Most acid based chemistry often happens in water because the di hydrogen oxide is capable of being a base, accepting a proton from an acid, or being an acid, giving up a proton. (EPA USA, 2014) Naturally, acid rain is formed by a chemical reaction between sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, mixed with water molecules in the air. (Carr et al, 2010) The solution of acid rain soon reaches the Earth, and sinks into the soil. (National geographic, 2011)
While acid rain is a consequence of natural disasters, human activities such as burning of fossil fuel play a key role in the formation. (U.S. Department of State, 2007) The biggest problem with acid rain is that pollution cannot be contained by mere borders and therefore easily spread into other areas as well. Although nitrogen oxide is naturally present in the atmosphere, burning fossil fuels have been steadily increasing. (EPA, 2010) This resulted the increased comb...


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... Retrieved from: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6231-acid-rain-limits
Sarah Dowdey (2011) How acid rain works- Retrieved from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/acid-rain2.htm
The Ledger (2014) Erosion Fix Would Cost $43.4 Million. Retrieved from: http://www.theledger.com/article/20140415/news/140419502?tc=ar
U.S. Department of State (2007). Projected Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In: Fourth Climate Action Report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change . U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, USA. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/gases/co2.html
Will Knight (2004) Acid rain limits global warming. Retrieved from: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6231-acid-rain-limits-globwarming.html#.U2v0svldV8l
ZME science (2012). Mihai Andrei Rain, Retreived from: http://www.zmescience.com/tag/rain/#!GANZy

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