In some cases, acid rain is caused when industrial fumes mix with moisture in the atmosphere. Acids are then carried in clouds for long distances before they are deposited through rain, which indicates that forests and lakes far away from factories may be damaged by acid rain. Another significant cause of acid rain is automobile exhaust. Research has shown that although industrial emission makes up for most causes, sulfur dioxide from oil and coal combustion and nitrogen oxides produced from automobile engines have greatly intensified the problem. Electric power plants are also to blame for this issue.
Some regions are more susceptible to acid rain because they don't have enough Alkaline soil to "neutralize" the acid before it is able to destroy the rest of the soil or before it can run off into lakes or rivers. Aquatic environments can be greatly affected by soil runoff. Acidic soil may runoff into lakes and rivers due to erosion, causing acid rain to destroy more environment. Acid rain aquatic animals as well as aquatic plant life. When acid rain combines with water in major bodies of water, it not only destroys wildlife habitat, it destroys our drinking water.
Acid rain is not always in the form of rain. It can occur as rain, snow, sleet, ice, fog, hail, etc. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Even if there is a new form of precipitation, the acids could still attach and it would become acid precipitation. Sulfur gases enter the atmosphere from natural sources in both the ocean and land.
When we use these types of fuel, they produce not only smoke, but they also put by-products into the atmosphere. The cumulative effect of air pollution poses a grave threat to humans and the environment. “Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Sometimes, when an air pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with the water droplets that make up clouds, the water droplets become acidic, forming acid rain.” (Today, 2010) When acid rain falls is bad for trees, and can harm animals and other
Its sources are mainly from power stations and exhaust fumes. Like sulfur dioxide, these nitrogen oxides rise into the atmosphere and are oxidized in clouds to form nitric acid. Acid rain has drastic effects on our environment. It causes lakes and rivers to become acidic, killing off fish. Short-term increases in acid levels kill lots of fish, but the greatest threat is from long-term increases, which stop the fish reproducing.
When this takes place, it is called acid rain. Acid rain contaminates the food, water, and air we breathe with acidic pollutants. It increases soil weathering and reduces the amount of nutrients in the soil, making the vegetation more vulnerable to disease, viruses, fungi, and insect pests. It increases the amount of toxic metals such as mercury, copper, and aluminum in untreated drinking water supplies. Acid rain also pollutes the air with a variety of pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hazardous air pollutants (HAPS), lead, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxides.
Mainly because of the effects acid rain can have on earth. First off, acid rain is the mixture of wet and dry deposition from the atmosphere that contains higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids (1). Its formed from the combination of nitric and sulfuric acids (1). The damage acid rain can do is that it causes acidification of lakes and streams, and contributes to the damage of trees at high elevations, and also to many sensitive soils. It also accelerates the decay of building materials and paints (3).
Lakes are also greatly affected by contaminated precipitation. It has been discovered that some twenty thousand lakes have been turned acidic through groundwater contamination by acid rain. Fish start to die at around a pH of below 5.6. There are natural buffers such as calcium and lime in lakes to help neutralize these acids. If there aren’t enough buffer materials, or they are completely neutralized by the acids, the pH will not get better, and the lake will become sterile (Public 22.)
Acid rain affects many different things and is very harmful to the environment. One aspect of the environment that is greatly affected by acid rain is soil. Acidic rain makes its way into the soil by rain falling off the branches and leaves to the soil below. Water runs through the soil on its way to different bodies of water. A process called buffering is used to neutralize acids using the base nutrients (including calcium and magnesium) found in soil (Tyson, 1992).
It strips forest soils of nutrients and damages farm crops. Acid rain can also corrode stone buildings, bridges, and priceless monuments. Acid rain can also be harmful to humans because acid rain kills the crops and fish we eat, ruins homes, and the acid can release lead in the pipes and the lead could go into our drinking water. It is hard to determine where acid rain may fall next, because the wind from a pollueted area could carry pollution to another area and the acid rain could fall there. The regions effected more by acid rain is large parts of eastern North America, Scandinavia, and central Europe.