What is Acid Rain? What are the effects of acid rain?

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                                                    What is ACID RAIN?


Task 1 - What is Acid Rain?

A number of people believe that rain is damage free weather occurrence. Nevertheless the increase in acidity of rain is both unsafe and damaging. In order to understand acidity fully, it is necessary to know a little information about the pH scale. The ph scale has a number of varieties

 Listed from 0-14, anything with a ph lower than 7 (i.e. 0-6) is known to be acidic, and the one with ph 7 is neutral and all the rest with that have a ph higher than seven (i.e. 8-14) is known to be alkaline.

This is a basic diagram showing the ph scale

A change in only one unit is equal to a tenfold increase in the strength of the acid or base. Therefore a unit change from pH 4 to pH 6 is equal to a 10 x 10 increase in acidity. Taking the above into concern, it is easy to see how the original phenomenon “rain” is becoming more and more acidic as its pH has fallen from around 6 and 7 to about 4-3 and 5-3. In 1852 an English chemist called Robert Angus smith was first known to notice the incidence of acid rain. In other words acid rain is a word that means rain with a ph level of 5-6. It is a form of air pollution that is currently a theme of huge debate due to its wide spread damage. It is held responsible for the shocking of thousands of lakes and streams in the United States, Canada and parts of Europe.

Buildings damaged:

Many major buildings are getting damaged my acid rain. Other historical buildings and land marks are also affected by chemical weathering. They also damage historical monuments especially those made out of rock, limestone and marble

Lakes polluted:

18,000 Swedish lakes are badly poisoned along with over 4000 having almost no species left within them.

Affected fish:

Scotland has suffered losses of up to £25 million per year through acid-infected fish within or around there country.

Trees damaged:

60% per cent of all trees in the Black Forest area of southern Germany are acid damaged.

Task 2 - What is the formation of acid rain?

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the two main primary sources of acid rain. Sulphur dioxide (so2) is a colourless gas that is caused burning fossil fuel like coal Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas, released from burning fossil fuels like oil. The main sources of sulphur dioxide are caused by oil refineries and power stations. In the air at low concentrations naturally Sulphur dioxide can be found due to volcanoes and forest fires. This can be a means of breathing difficulties, when sulphur dioxide reacts with moisture it can cause acid rain and it also can be very toxic to plants This gas is can also emitted into the atmosphere by natural means.

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Nitrogen oxide is the other primarily source that is responsible for the formation of acid rain nitrogen oxides is a compound that has an amount of oxygen in it The only oxides of nitrogen are nitrogen monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. These gases are produced by firing processes at very high temperatures (vehicle) and chemical industries. There are natural processes such as forest fires, volcanoes and bacterial action in soil that also emit nitrogen oxides. Transportation and industrial combustion also contribute to the emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The acidity of acid rain does not only depend on the release levels ...

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