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Acid Rain

Essay by review  •  December 20, 2010  •  Essay  •  380 Words (2 Pages)  •  689 Views

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Acid rain is something we hear about in the news all the time and is a term used to describe several ways that acid falls out of the atmosphere. Actually, a more accurate term for this fallout would be "acid deposition." Everything in nature has a certain amount of acidity, but too much acidity is harmful to our ecosystem as well as our own health. In this paper I' m going to discuss what acid rain is, and its effect on our lakes, streams, air, human health, and what we can do to reduce acid rain in our ecosystem.

When a chemical in the air turns into a gas and evaporates, they mix with water vapor and cause acid rain. This rain is more acidic than normal because it contains sulfuric and nitric acid from the burning of coal and oil. It's very harmful to the environment because it damages everything and makes living things in the environment die.

Acid rain has two parts: wet and dry. In areas around the world where the weather is usually moist, wet deposition occurs. Wet deposition is acid rain, fog, and snow. It affects a variety of plants and animals as it circulates through the air and is absorbed into the ground. The amount of damage it does depends on how acidic the water is, the chemistry and buffering ability of the soil involved, and the types of trees, fish, and other living things that depends on this water. Acidic gases and dust are known as dry deposition. Dry deposition gas and dust are blown by the wind onto buildings, cars, homes, and trees. It can also be washed from trees and other surfaces by rainstorms. When this happens, the runoff water has combined with the dry acid dust making the combination more acidic than just rain alone.

As the wind blows around the globe, compounds that cause both wet and dry acid deposition can travel to other countries. It has been confirmed by scientist that sulfuric acid and nitric acid are the primary cause of acid rain. In the United States alone, about two-third of these two substances come from generating electricity that relies on burning fossil fuels like coals.

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