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Acid Rain And Its Effects On Society

2086 words - 8 pages

When we hear someone mentioning the word ‘Acid Rain’, we can find out from the word itself what the person is talking about. The word itself tells us that acid rain is nothing but rain which is acidic in nature. To understand the effects of acid rain and how it is caused, we must first understand the difference between a normal liquid and an acid.acid we know that when a positive ion combines with a negative ion, it forms an ionic compound. We also know that when dissolved in water (in aqueous state), all ionic compounds split into their positive and negative ions. An acid can also be classified as an ionic compound but it has one specialty. An acid is an ionic compound which contains an H + ion. This is the basic feature found in all acids. All acids give an H + ion along with any other anion in water. Acids also have some basic properties like being sour in taste and highly corrosive in nature.Acid RainAcid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are emitted into the atmosphere, undergo chemical transformations and are absorbed by water droplets in clouds. The droplets then fall to earth as rain, snow, or sleet. This can increase the acidity of the soil, and affect the chemical balance of lakes and streams. Acid rain is sometimes used more generally to include all forms of acid deposition - both wet deposition, where acidic gases and particles are removed by rain or other precipitation, and dry deposition removal of gases and particles to the Earth's surface in the absence of precipitation.Acid rain is defined as any type of precipitation with a pH that is unusually low. Dissolved carbon dioxide dissociates to form weak carbonic acid giving a pH of approximately 5.6 at typical atmospheric concentrations of CO2. Therefore a pH of <5.6 has sometimes been used as a definition of acid rain. However, natural sources of acidity mean that in remote areas rain has a pH which is between 4.5 and 5.6 with an average value of 5.0 and so rain with a pH <5 is a more appropriate definition.Acid rain accelerates weathering in carbonate rocks and accelerates building weathering. It also contributes to acidic rivers, streams, and damage to trees at high elevation. Efforts to combat this phenomenon are ongoing.Causes of Acid RainAcid Rain is nothing but clouds or rain droplets containing pollutants, such as oxides of sulfur and Nitrogen, to make them acidic (e.g. pH < 5.6). However "Acid rain" is a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere. A more precise term is acid deposition, which has two parts: wet and dry.Wet deposition refers to acidic rain, fog, and snow. As this acidic water flows over and through the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. The strength of the effects depend on many factors, including how acidic the water is, the chemistry and buffering capacity of the soils involved, and the types of fish, trees, and other living things that rely on the water.Dry deposition...

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