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Acid rain is any precipitation that is acidic in nature

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Introduction

Acid Rain Why is Acid Rain Caused by Human Impact? Acid rain is any precipitation that is acidic in nature. Rain is already slightly acidic in nature because as it falls, it dissolves some of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and falls as very dilute carbonic acid. This is not significantly harmful to the environment Even though the concentration of Nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides (which are the main causes of acid rain), are much less than the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the former gases are much more soluble and therefore have a much greater effect on the acidity of the precipitation. Liquid acid rain is dissolved in the rain and are carried a long distance before they fall. Dry depositions simply fall near to the source. Sulphur dioxide is responsible for 60-70% of acid rain worldwide. Of this, approximately 90% is the result of human activities. The main sources for sulphur dioxide are: * The combustion of fossil fuels. (all fossil fuels contain about 2-3%) of sulphur, so it is released as sulphur dioxide when it undergoes combustion (mostly from coal fired power stations). ...read more.

Middle

So they die from suffocation. Also, acidified waters contain high concentrations of poisonous metals like mercury, aluminuim and cadmium. These metals are usually in the bedrock surrounding the water locked in clay particles, minerals and rocks, but the increased acidity causes these metals to become soluble and pollute the water. As the water pH approaches 6.0, crustaceans, insects, and some plankton species begin to die. And at below pH 5, the water is almost entirely devoid of fish. The decrease of fish will affect the ecosystem because of its complicated and interlinked nature. For example, the birds will have less to eat, and cause a decrease in the numbers of fish etc. The decrease of fish will also affect people whose livelihood comprise of it (i.e. Fishermen). It can also affect the sport fishing tourism. As for plant life, if pH of the soil is too low, important plant nutrients such as calcium, potassium and magnesium can be leached out of the soil, and inhibit plant growth, reproduction and slow the growth rate. Also, aluminium is released and causes damage to plant roots and therefore water uptake as well as the uptake of other nutrients. ...read more.

Conclusion

Use renewable fuels instead of fossil fuels: This would decrease the amount of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides drastically because it is a major source of acid rain. But, renewable fuels, which depend on nature, are not always reliable. For example, you can only use solar power when there is sunlight. Also, they do not give off as much energy as fossil fuels do. New facilities will have to be built and developed, and some countries may not be able to afford it. Also, renewable fuels are limited by nature. Some methods will be appropriate in some areas while it may be impossible in another. For example, a solar energy plant would be inappropriate in Antarctica. Use lead free petrol: This is expensive and is also less efficient than leaded petrol. Also, leaded petrol cannot be used with a catalytic converter as it will destroy it. Use tall smoke stacks: This relieves the problem of heavy local pollution as the nitrogen oxides and sulpur dioxides rises higher into the air. But this only means that the pollution spreads further away, and just passes on the problem instead of solving it. For example, Norway has problems with acid rain, but most of it comes from Britain. It could cause ill will between the two countries. ...read more.

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