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Formation and effects of acid rain.

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Introduction

Task 1: FORMATION AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN a. Acid Rain is a term used to describe rainfall that has a higher level of acid in it then normal rain. The acidity in a substance can be told by the PH value, if the PH if a substance is 7, it is neutral, above 7 would be alkaline, and below 7 would be acidic. However acid rain itself has a PH of 5.6. Acid rain is caused by air pollution, mainly the source being power stations and industries burning fossil fuels that give off Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Acid rain is formed when certain gases dissolve in rainwater to form acids. The most common natural acid-forming gases are carbon dioxide (from animals) and chlorine (originating from salt), which dissolve to form carbonic acid and hydrochloric acid. However, carbonic acid is very weak, and very little hydrochloric acid is actually formed, as chlorine gas is quite rare. By far the most common cause of acid rain is sulphur dioxide, which causes 70% percent of acid rain, with various oxides of nitrogen causing the remaining 30%. b. Here is a table of substances with the amount of PH they have. Substance PH Value Oven spray cleaner 12.5 Ammonia solution 11.0 Kitchen surface cleaner 10.0 Sea water 8.2 Distilled water 7.0 Milk 6.8 Washing up liquid 5.5 Pure rainwater 5.0 Acid rain 4.5 Apple 3.2 Vinegar 2.9 Lemon 2.5 Lowest recorded acid rain 2.4 Dilute acid rain 1.0 This graph states how acidic each of the substances are, in rank order of the least to most acidic. ...read more.

Middle

If there were no factories or cars, there would rarely be any acid rain caused by humans. However there are natural causes of Sulphur such as volcanic eruptions and organic decay, however the amount of sulphur produced by humans is still higher. Task 3: ACID RAIN BETWEEN COUNTRIES a. NEXT PAGE b. The 4 countries with the highest emissions are: * Germany * UK * Poland * Italy The 4 countries with the lowest emissions are: * Norway * Switzerland * Austria * Sweden The 4 countries with the highest depositions are: * Poland * Germany * UK * France The 4 countries with the lowest depositions are: * Switzerland * Denmark * Belgium * Netherlands These results may suggest that most of the countries with the highest emissions also have the highest depositions. Only Italy and France have different amount of depositions and emissions. Switzerland is the only country that has the lowest depositions and emissions. c. The explanation of the differences between the highest and lowest figures is that Switzerland and Norway produce the lowest emissions, maybe due to that fact that of the size of the 2 countries. Since their industries are small, they don't produce a lot of emissions and depositions, as do the bigger countries. Norway and Sweden have low emissions because they probably take care of the environment by preserving their nature and keeping it clean and avoiding contaminating it by being environmentally friendly. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 1983, after a lot of pressure from countries such as West Germany and Scandinavia, 21 European countries made a promise to reduce their Sulphur dioxide emissions by 30% from the levels of emissions 1980's to 1993. This was called 'The 30% Club'. All the countries that made the commitment, managed to reduce their emissions successfully. Austria surpassed their target to a massive 82% reduction. UK achieved 35% reduction. There were only two countries that increased their emissions by 20% from Croatia, and 27% from Greece. So overall, I think that effective measures are being taken to reduce problems of Acid rain. d. I think that the best way to solve the problem of acid rain would be to increase energy efficiency by only using appliances and machines when they are needed. This will help reduce emissions. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will also contribute towards solving the acid rain problem. However, if the acid rain problem doesn't come to an end, there would be an immense amount of pollution in the years to come, causing death rates to increase, due to lungs cancer and other similar diseases. Fish and vegetation such as trees will also be affected by the acid rain. Also another good way to combat acid rain is to reduce the amount of NOx and SO2 being released into the atmosphere. Catalytic (in a car engine) converters in cars can reduce the emissions of NOx by up to 90 percent, but although they are standard in new cars, they cause more carbon dioxide to be released, which contributes to the greenhouse effect. Aly Khan GEOGRAPHY COURSEWORK ...read more.

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