Simply put, it means rain that is acidic in nature due to the presence of certain pollutants in the air due to cars and industrial processes. It is easily defined as rain, fog, sleet or snow that has been made acidic by pollutants in the air as a result of fossil fuel and industrial combustions that mostly emits Nitrogen Oxides NOx and Sulfur Dioxide SO2. Acidity is determined on the basis of the pH level of the water droplets.
Read this article to learn about the causes, effects and control measures of acid rain!
Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, i. It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure through the process of wet deposition. Acid rain is caused by emissions of compounds of ammonium, carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids.
The various gases like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide react with water vapours in presence of sunlight and form sulphuric acid and nitric acid mist.
The reaction takes place in the following manner. The condensation begins with the fall of temperature and it mingles with the rain, fog or snow and this increases its acidity Causes of Acid Rain: The oxides of nitrogen, or NOx, and sulphur dioxide, or S02, are the two main sources of acid rain.
Sulphur dioxide, which is a colourless gas, is given off as a by-product when fossil fuels that contain sulphur are burned. This gas is produced due to various industrial processes, like the processing of crude oil, utility factories, and iron and steel factories.
On the whole, industrial combustion is responsible for Nitrogen oxide is the other chemical that acid rain is made up of. Any nitrogen compound that contains oxygen atoms of any amount is known as oxides of nitrogen.
For example, nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen monoxide are oxides of nitrogen. These gases are produced in firing processes which involve extremely high temperatures, e. Five per cent of nitrogen oxide is emitted by natural processes like lightning, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and action of bacteria in the soil.
Nitrogen oxide, which is a dangerous gas in itself, causes damage to the respiratory organs by attacking the membranes in them, thus increasing the chances of respiratory diseases.
It also causes smog and is a contributory factor for the damage of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. When there is acid rain, the nitrogen oxide can be carried far away from the original location of the rain.
Effects of Acid Rain: Acid rain has serious implications for continuation of life on this planet. The main acid rain problems are: Effects on Water Bodies: Most rivers and lakes have a pH that ranges between 6 and 8. Acid rain that may fall directly in these water bodies or may be washed into them as surface runoff, alter their chemical environment.
The flora and fauna in these water bodies are adapted for life in the original pH value of the water.
Altered acidity of their environment may be a threat to their survival. Although, some soils are capable of buffering increase in acidity, water bodies that have soil with poor buffering capacity may release aluminium ions from the soil which is toxic for aquatic life forms.
Read more on water pollution. Effects on Soil and Forests: Acid rain is being cited as one of the major causes of degradation of the forests at higher altitudes of the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia.
Forests are affected directly as well as indirectly by acid rain.Precipitation comes in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Precipitation collects acidic particles and gases and becomes acidic.
These particles will have a pH level below There are two types of deposition processes: wet and dry. Acid rain is wet deposition. Wet . Acid Rain: Causes, Effects, and Prevention Words Jan 7th, 4 Pages It can havе harmful еffеcts on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure (Glossary-DEFRA, ).
Acid rain is a very serious environmental threat faced by our planet today. Millions of people get affected by it on a daily basis. Acid rain occurs when high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide enter in the atmosphere and . Acid rain is caused by air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide or nitrogen oxide.
These chemicals are produced by the burning of fossil fuels, the smelting of ore, the burning of coal, and the processing of natural gas. Some of the major procedures that must be followed to control acid rain are as follows: The phenomenon of acid rain is highly interactive problem and remedial measures to control it are very expensive.
Acid Rain as the name suggests can be said to be the precipitation of acid in the form of rain in the simplest manner.
When atmospheric pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and sulphur react with rainwater and come down with the rain, then this results in Acid Rain.