The main chemicals in air pollution that create acid rain are sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Acid rain usually forms high in the clouds where sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water, oxygen, and oxidants. This forms a mild solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid. Sunlight increases the rate of most of these reactions. Rainwater, snow, fog, and other forms of precipitation containing those mild solutions of sulfuric and nitric acids fall to the earth as acid rain.
Acid rain can affect many substances including plants and animals. Even though it can affect all of these things, some people still think that it is not such a big deal. In my opinion, acid rain is very bad for the environment and we should do everything in our power to decrease the amount of it, and eventually put an end to it. The United States contributes around ⅔ of the total sulfur dioxide and ¼ of the total nitrogen oxides to the atmosphere from generating electric power by burning fossil fuels, such as coal. Acid rain forms from these gases when they react with water, oxygen and other gases in the atmosphere to form highly acidic compounds.
During combustion, nitric oxides and sulfur dioxides are converted into nitric acid and sulfuric acid. The more harmful of these two acids is sulfuric acid. These are then released into the atmosphere and it falls back to the earth in the form of precipitation. The most common substance in acid rain is carbon dioxide. Acid rain is caused by industrialization.
What's even worst than acid rain and its causes are the results. Acid deposition can cause a number of disasters, some of the serious effects includes structure eradication. The marble frieze panels on the Parthenon of Athens for example, has been transformed by acid rain into gypsum. Loosing much of its details, the exterior of the Parthenon is also beginning to crack and flake off. The effects of acid rain can also be seen in lakes, rivers, and streams and plant growth.
Freshwater Acidification. [Online] Available http://www.doc.mmu.ac.uk/aric/freshwat.html, October 28, 1998. Effects of Acid Rain on Water. [Online] Available http://epa.gov/acidrain/student/water.html, October 27, 1998. FAQ Acid Rain.
When these materials are released into the atmosphere, they undergo various physical and chemical changes. The most important chemical reaction is the transformation of the sulfur and nitrogen oxides into acids. Sulfuric acid and nitric acid mix in with clouds in the atmosphere, which causes a change in their chemical composition. The acids then fall back to earth in the form of precipitation. When this takes place, it is called acid rain.
Acid rain causes nutrients from the soil to disappear, causes trees to grow slower, causes aquatic life in lakes to die off and as well wildlife. Acid rain also affects cities by corroding everything that the rain touches. Acid rain accelerates the natural wear and tear on structures such as buildings and statues. Acid rain also forms urban smog, which attacks the lungs, causing severe health problems for the elderly. Formation of Acid Rain The formation of acid rain starts off with the burning of fossil fuels.
Both sulfur and nitrogen dioxide are water soluble and can easily carry with wind and become part of rain. Nature works on balance. Some rains have pH level around 5.0 that’s makes them naturally acidic. In natural acid rain the sulfur comes from the volcano eruptions they emit large amounts of sulfur dioxide while nitric acid in rain is produced by lightning activity in the atmosphere. Natural rain reacts with non-acidic materials that are naturally present in air, rocks, bed rock, streams and lakes.
Acid rain is formed when sulfur dioxide and various nitrogen oxides combine with atmospheric moisture. Sulfur dioxide is produced by the emissions of electric utilities, industrial companies, commercial and residential heating, smelters and diesel engines. Sulfur dioxide produces sulfuric acid, which will produce acid rain. Nitrogen oxides are produced mostly by transportation (cars, trucks, planes, etc.). Nitrogen oxides produce nitric acid, which will also produce acid rain.
Acid Rain in Europe Introduction ============ The atmosphere is like a film of gases, which makes the planet habitable. If this layer was not present there would be no life on earth. It is a fact that the health of plants, animals and humans depends upon a very important factor 'pollution'. Although, all kinds of poisonous waste is continuing to be put into the atmosphere. These poisonous gases are being produced when fossil fuels are burnt, as a result of this acid rain forms which further more results in numerous problems damaging forests, lakes, rivers, land, plants and animals.