This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Acid Rain. Essay

1950 words - 8 pages

Acid RainAcid rain is a term which is used to describe a variety of processes which might more accurately be referred to as acidic deposition. Natural rainfall is slightly acidic due to dissolved carbon dioxide, picked up in the atmosphere. Organisms and ecosystems all over the planet have adapted to the slightly acidic nature of normal rain, and thus it poses no environmental problems. It is an increase in the acidity of rain, caused by human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels, that has turned acid rain into a problem. Highly acidic rain can damage or destroy aquatic life, forests, crops and buildings, as well as posing a threat to human health.The actual term "acid rain" was first used over one hundred years ago by British chemist Robert Angus Smith. At that time, he realized that smoke and fumes from human activities could change the acidity of precipitation. Unfortunately his awareness was not considered an environmental concern until the 1950's. Around this time, increased levels of acidity were discovered in lakes in both Canada and Scandinavia. At first, this was looked at as an interesting situation, rather than a growing problem. Since that time, much research has gone into identifying the sources of acid rain and the damage that it causes. As research continued, the situation reached catastrophe proportions in the late 1970's. By this time, thousands of lakes in Canada and Scandinavia had been declared dead, devoid of life, while emissions of acid gasses continued to rise.Acid Rain ChemistryAs mentioned earlier, the term acid rain is used to describe a variety of different types of acidic deposition. These include "wet" deposition such as rain, snow and fog, as well as "dry" deposition in the form of acidic gases and dust. The term acid rain is only used to describe deposition which is more acidic than normal. Acidity is measured on the pH scale, a scale which runs from zero to 14, distilled water, which contains no carbon dioxide, has a neutral pH of seven. On the scale, pH levels below seven represent acidic solutions, while those above seven are alkaline. Testing of the pH is usually performed by litmus paper which responds to the spectrum of pH in different ways. Each decrease of one number on the pH scale represents a tenfold increase in acidity. For example, rain with a pH of four is ten times more acidic than rain with a pH of five.Normal rain is slightly acidic, with a pH of around 5.5. This acidity is a result of naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2), which dissolves into water vapor in the atmosphere. Human activities such as the use of fossil fuels for energy can result in the release of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrous oxides (NOx) into the atmosphere. These gases can travel for thousands of kilometers before coming back down to earth in the form of dry particles or acid precipitation. In the atmosphere, SO2 and NOx react with water vapor to form weak solutions of nitric and sulfuric acid. The areas of...

Find Another Essay On Acid Rain.

Acid Rain Essay

1656 words - 7 pages Acid rain has been proven to have damage forests, fresh waters and soils, killing insect and aquatic life-forms. It also causes damage to buildings and impacts on human health. Many people do not know what acid rain actually is. Acid rain is any form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, low pH levels, higher than normal amounts of sulfuric and nitric acid, occurs naturally and from man made sources. Forms when gases react in the atmosphere

Acid Rain Essay

1962 words - 8 pages INTRODUCTION The term acid rain refers to the process of deposition or precipitation of hydrogen ions with a pH value below 5.0, in the atmosphere. These acidic substances are produced by the pollutants on the earth that are airborne. These acidic precipitates will pour down as water droplets along with normal rain water whose pH lie between 5.0 and 5.6 creating hazardous effects on the living organisms of earth. HISTORY The cause of acid

Acid rain

559 words - 2 pages When thought of acid rain, some people may think of green, burning acid falling from the sky, destroying everything in sight. This may be a bit ridiculous and hard to believe, but as absurd as it sound, it is not far from the truth. Acid deposition has long been a subject of debate because of the widespread environ-mental damage it is responsible for. As one of the major results of air pollution, acid rain can corrode metal and limestone

Acid Rain

1335 words - 5 pages Acid Rain Do you ever look outside on a rainy night and think to yourself why are we destroying our own habitat. Of course you don’t. You are more rapped up in the beauty of a calm and serene shower with the wind blowing and a gentle howl of the breeze trickling through the trees. Why would you think of something bad? Well, maybe you should start thinking of rain as a bad thing. Maybe not rain, but what is in the rain. Not enough

Acid Rain

665 words - 3 pages Acid RainWhat is acid rain? How does it form?Acid rain is no different to any other rain except that the water is acidic. Acid rain can have harmful affect on plants. It can also exist as fog, snow, dew and dry material. Distilled water is neutral but natural clean unpolluted rain is slightly acidic with a ph of 5.2. Any rain with a ph lower than this is said to be acidic. Acid rain mainly forms when there is a lot of sulfur, carbon or nitrogen

Acid Rain

1570 words - 6 pages Acid rain is a problem that has plagued earth for years. It is poisoning our waters, animals, plants, soil, and more. It is a problem that can not be ignored or it might have catastrophic results on our environment. Acid rain is caused by air pollution, which is due to man-made actions.      Scientists have discovered that air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of acid rain. Power plants and

Acid Rain

2149 words - 9 pages depletion of the ozone, and the warming of the globe. One of the most flagrant aftermaths of pollution is acid rain. Acid Rain has become a global problem that has created a severe threat to plant Earth. Destruction to the ecosystem, detriments to one's personal health, and the defoliation of architecture are the three primary effects of acid rain.Acid rain in simple terms can be defined as rain that has become much more acidic than natural

Acid Rain

895 words - 4 pages Acid Rain Within this past century, acidity of the air and acid rain have become recognized as one of the leading threats to our planet’s environment. No longer limited by geographic boundaries, acid causing emissions are causing problems all over the world. Some laws have been passed which limit the amount of pollutants that are released into the air, but tougher legislation must be implemented before this problem can be overcome. &nbsp

Acid Rain - 2074 words

2074 words - 8 pages The world we live in today has become a nest for pollution, toxic waste and environmental deterioration. In order to improve our planet, acid rain is a main factor to be considered and must be controlled before the damage worsens. In order to understand what acid rain is, we must first understand the term “acidity”. Acidic is a way to describe chemical compounds and it is measured on the pH scale, a logarithmic measure of the concentration of

Acid Rain - 3013 words

3013 words - 12 pages Acid rain is rain that is more acidic than normal. Acid rain is a complicated problem. Caused by air pollution, acid rain's spread and damage involves weather, chemistry, soil, and the life cycles of plants and animals on the land and from acid rain in the water. Scientists have discovered that air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is the major cause of acid rain. Power plants and factories burn coal and oil. Power plants use that

Acid Rain - 1055 words

1055 words - 4 pages Acid Rain Acid rain has become an environmental concern within the last decade. The increasing environmental awareness of the poor condition of planet earth has not lessened the concern about acid rain.What is acid rain? Acid rain is rain with pH values of less than 5.6. Acid rain is rain mixed with sulfur. Sulfur is put into the air by sulfuric acid plants. Some of the larger sulfuric acid plants are in Ontario Canada Where dose acid rain come

Similar Essays

Acid Rain Essay 339 Words

339 words - 2 pages Ms. Rudy Mike Magiera Period 3 10/9/00 Acid Rain Acid rain is measured using a pH scale, anything that is less than the neutral number 7 is considered acidic. Anything above 7 is normal. Sulphur dioxide is the main cause of acid rain on earth. Volcanoes

Acid Rain Essay 330 Words

330 words - 2 pages Acid Rain Acid rain is measured using a pH scale, anything that is less than the neutral number 7 is considered acidic. Anything above 7 is normal. Sulphur dioxide is the main cause of acid rain on earth. Volcanoes, sea spray, and rotting vegetation are some of the things that give off sulphur dioxide. The main thing that causes sulphur dioxide to be given off into the atmosphere is the burning off fossil fuels. As sulphur dioxide

Acid Rain Essay 717 Words

717 words - 3 pages Acid rain can have strange effects on rocks, trees, and man-made structures. It contains of many molecules such as carbon dioxide. It also causes an uprise in environmental control groups. The researcher will find out exactly what affects acid rain has and if Dublin Ca. has acid rain. Maybe Dublin doesn’t have unusually high acid rain. Hopefully acid rain just dissolves things faster than water. Acid rain can happen naturally or artificially

Acid Rain Essay 1083 Words

1083 words - 4 pages INTRODUCTION: The dictionary definition of acid rain is “’rainfall made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulphur and nitrogen oxides which combine with atmospheric water to form acids.” In Northern Europe and North America millions of trees have died because of the causes