Acid rain.

Essay by ladyblue8102College, Undergraduate April 2003

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Acid rain is a term for rain, snow, sleet, or other wet precipitation that is polluted by such acids as sulfuric acid and nitric acid. According to the Southampton University website, rain is naturally slightly acidic because of the carbon dioxide dissolved in it (which is made from the salt in the sea). This gives rain a pH of around 5.0, and in some parts of the world it can be as low as 4.0. The term acid rain is now used to describe rain with a pH below 5. In the following paragraphs, I will explain how it is made, its effects on our environment, and some statistics of just how much acid rain effects the world around you.

Acid rain comes from sulphur dioxide (SO2), which dissolves into the watr to form sulphuric acid. About 70 percent of acid rain comes from sulphur dioxide, the rest comes from various oxides of nitrogen.

North-eastern USA, has 62 percent sulphuric acid, 32 percent nitric acid and 6 percent hydrochloric acid. These gases are produced entirely from burning fossil fuels, mainly in power stations and road transports. So, I bet you want to know how it can effect you?

Acid rain causes lakes and rivers to become acidic, killing off fish, single-celled plants, and algae. Many toxic metals are held in the ground in compounds, in which acid rain can break down, causing the metals to wash into water sources such as rivers. Copper causes diarrhea in children, and can cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Also, a highly publicized problem is the effects of acid rain on trees. The acid reacts with many nutrients the trees need, which starves the trees, making them far more brittle. Now, allow me to share some given facts with you.

The United States...