ACID RAIN PHENOMENON DR. S.M ALAM (feedback@pgeconomist.

com) Oct 25 - 31, 2010 Acid rain is a severe environmental problem and affects various regions of the w orld. It is harmful to the surroundings including lakes, streams, woodlands, and floras and faunas. It is fundamentally caused due to poisonous gases which are emitted from the Earth's surface in the atmosphere. It may be related to the aci d deposition, which includes wet deposition and dry deposition. Acidic rain, acidic fog, and acidic snow are elements of the wet deposits. If th e acid chemicals present in the atmosphere travel into regions, which have wet w eather, the acids can drop on the surface of the Earth through rain, snow, fog, or even mist. The acidic water flows on the ground surface and through the groun d, which has a contrary effect on various plants and animals. The degree of the consequences count on many factors, including how much acid the water contains, and the type and chemistry of the soil, which gets in contact with the acidic wa ter. It also harms fish, trees, and other living beings which are dependent on w ater. In regions of dry atmosphere, the acid chemicals are mixed with dust or smoke, a nd drop on the Earth's surface in the form of dry depositions which sediment to the ground, and on skyscrapers, houses, cars, and trees. These deposits are then washed off by rains, after which the rainwater causes the acid chemicals to bec ome more acidic. Around 50 per cent of the acidity in the air drops back on Eart h by means of dry deposition. Chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are the chief reasons for ac id rains which occur due to the reaction that takes place after burning fossil f uels such as coal. They have a ruinous effect on the environment, which includes woodlands, soil, fishes, and other living things. The bionomical effects are ge nerally visible in water bodies such as lakes and watercourses. As the acid wate r flows through the watersheds, the aluminum which is present in the soil is dis charged in the rivers and lakes situated in that watershed. As a result, the lev el of hydrogen lowers and that of aluminum increases, which can be instantly fat al to the fish. Plants, human beings, and fish are mostly harmed by the deposition of acids on t he ground and water. It has a bad effect on human health and may damage our lung s, and affects fish which die due to the acidic water. However, there are some measures, which can be taken by human beings to prevent sources of acid rains. Smokestacks and exhaust pipes need to be kept clean, as a ll of the electrical energy is generated from burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil. Historical monuments and buildings also end up being dama ged by these acid rains. Moreover, people need to be educated regarding the afte r-effects of acid rain over time. If the necessary steps are not taken, there is a possibility of the instances of acid rain rising enormously. The term, 'acid rain' refers to a phenomenon in which falling rain sometimes can be acidic. This is a bad thing. Acid rain is a side effect from the burning lar ge amounts of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum, and usually occurs over regi ons downwind from clusters of large, modern, industrial cities. Acid rain is a b

Life would not be existed without water. particularly considering its impact o n natural ecosystems. the soil cannot be consolidated and l ead to soil erosion. the soil within the woodland will become more acidic. Without getting into the chemistry itself. as acidic water can dissolve or react with t he minerals/nutrients. Plan t growth may be inhibited when the soil pH is too high or too low. threatening whole forests. they will react w ith the water molecules in the air to form acid rain. we can understand th e significance of the 'reactivity' of water solutions. calcium carbonate from shells). factories. 2/3 of earth surface is covered by water. acid rain has been linked to the death of many trees. Nitrogen oxide mainly refers to the gaseous of nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen mon oxide. lakes and ri vers. nitrogen oxides etc. it would be diluted. Strong a cids are very reactive. They re act with other substances in the atmosphere to make the acids found in acid rain . photosynthesis process cannot be carried out and the whole woodland ecology may eventually collapse. precipitated as acid rain. all contribute to the vast increase of ai r pollutants including sulphur dioxide. Eventually this nutrient-deficient land will lead to desertification.g. In some places. seawater contai ns vast quantities of alkaline substances (e. and the impact location can be distance a way from the source. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are the tw o main pollutants in the exhaust smoke that cause the acid rain problem. when acid rain falls into seawater. the overall impacts are severe. which can react with acid rain to decrease its acidity. death of vegetation may be the results. most of them can only surv ive within a narrow pH value. NO2 reacts to make nitric acid. When these gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Weak acids are weakly reactive and neutral solutions hav e no reactivity. and of two types: marine and fresh water. Acid rain will also change the level of nutrients in the soil. present mainly in oceans. Therefore. a nd even bacteria.ad problem because it can result in the death of plants and animals in lakes and streams. Acid rain can have adverse impacts of plant tissues. Therefore. When acid precip itation falls on woodland. Therefore. The growth of vegetation relies on soil nutrients and pH. Motors. The acids come from cars and fossil fuel. For example. Unfortunately. The areas affected by acid rain are widespread and these areas may be very far a way from the source. with the rapid growth of human population and since industrial re volution. The volume of seawater is enormous and the top part of ocean water moves (due to tidal and wind). Acidic soil will have direct impaction soil organisms such as plants. Acid rain is an interesti ng and important environmental phenomenon. The acidic gases emitted i n Hong ong may be blown to mainland China. The dissolved minerals/nutrients will be lost through the runoff of water. The main sources of these gases are from the burning of fossil fuel and b y lightning. pollution impacts are getting worst. Although diff erent vegetation has different toleration to soil pH. The impact of acid rain is not a s significant in seawater than in freshwater. Most of the landslide is due to the loss of vegetation. animals. In addition. The acid water will corrode and damage plant structure and as a result the malfunction of plant physiology. Water is a precious resource on Earth. and the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.     . and SO2 reacts to make sulfuric acid. When the plants die. if the acidit y of the soil is too high. The impact of acid rain is widespread. the diversity of vegetation will change relatively. the acidic gases emitted in the U might be bl own to Germany and Norway. if the acidity in the soil has changed. leading to the lack of nutrients for plant growth.burning ele ctrical power plants.

Apart from buildings. not happens in few ho urs or days). One of the methods to achieve this is to neutralise the acidic gases befor e releasing into the atmosphere . Although each aquatic species can tolerate acid rain to an extent. because these resources usually do not store huge volume of wate r. Acid rain can cause damage to buildings. Corrosion caused by acid rain is not short-term (i. Surface of the buildings can be corroded by acid water and cause the loss of heritages such as historic buildings and statues. lack of calcium carbonate shells and the small volume of water account for the h igh acidity in some highland lakes and cause death. Fossil fuel power plants are the critical sources for acid rain. the impacts of acid rain are more significant. the caves within the limestone rocks are also caused by long-term exposure of acid r ain. eventually the acidity will be too high to kill most of the organisms in lake water. Solutions: The best way to reduce acid rain is to reduce air pollution such as e mission of acidic gases. However. Acid water will store in lakes and accumulate every time of acid precipi tation. it is difficult to stop pollutants with the ad vance of technology.On the other hand. it takes a long time (generally speaking at least tens of years) t o see a distinct damage caused by acid rain. when acid rain falls into the freshwater resources such as ri vers and lakes. especially in lakes with still water. There are many heritages round the world show evidences of acid rain corrosion.e. especially the ones built by limestone rocks.

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