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Acid Rain and Its Effects

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Introduction

Acid rain is not just rain as the name would suggest, but any form of precipitation with acidic levels below, as a guideline, 5.6pH (remember the lower the pH, the greater the acidity). 5.6pH is given as a guideline because this would be the pH of carbonic acid rain in average CO2 air conditions. However there are other gases that cause different types of acid rain, and some cause lower pH levels than this. This is why most people have now ditched the '5.6 or lower pH is acid rain' concept. In actuality, acid rain is rain with a pH that is unusually low compared to it's surrounding because it has acid in it. Acid rain is caused by water in any state (solid, liquid or gas) ...read more.

Middle

True, there is little stopping the natural causes, such as volcanoes and decaying matter, causing acid rain, but this is nothing compared to what we have done. Occasional acid rain in rivers and other aqueous habitats may cause a sudden drop in the amount of wildlife when it occurs, but the ecosystem soon replenishes itself. This happens often in nature where an unusual occurrence is soon righted. However, if something such as this persists it could mean wiping out the whole ecosystem (killing those at the bottom of the food chain affects all involved in the food chain), even non-aquatic creatures such as fish-eating birds. That is if the acid-concentration is high enough to kill any life-forms. If it isn't, but persists then mutations such as that of the frog on the left could occur, and though those above the frog in the food chain can eat these ...read more.

Conclusion

We need to act now, as acid rain is either directly or indirectly damaging almost all types of life-form on the Earth. It seems that emissions need to be dealt with so they do not get into the atmosphere at all, whether to stop Global Warming, Pollution, the depletion of the Ozone Layer or Acid Rain. One of the simplest and cheapest ideas so far would be to 'water-down' these gases so they form dilute acids (like acid rain) which are somehow drained away. As long as the gases are contained as acids in water they can cause very little harm to the atmosphere, and we would be able to dispose of these acids rather than having the acidic gases lose in the air, waiting for acid rain to wreck its havoc. ...read more.

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