Meaning of Acid Rain

What is Acid Rain:

Acid rain It is a type of precipitation that is characterized by containing polluting substances.such as sulfuric acids and nitrogen acids, which cause harmful effects on the environment.

The main characteristic of acid rain is its pH level, which oscillates between 5 and 3, that is, lower than that of normal rain, which is located at 5.65. This is due to the presence of acids that are formed from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

acid rain

Causes of acid rain

Air pollutants are what produce acid rain. Although both the decomposing vegetation layer and the eruptive volcanoes can release some chemicals that promote the formation of acid precipitation, the main cause of the emission of toxic substances into the atmosphere is associated with the human factor and its industrial activity.

In this sense, the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal or oil, in industry and in various human activities (factories, power plants, heating boilers, automobiles), releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. .

These compounds, when coming into contact with water, oxygen or other substances, react forming dilute solutions of nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

They then travel great distances with the help of the wind before falling as rain, dew, drizzle, hail, snow, or fog.

See also Precipitation.

consequences of acid rain

Acid rain has harmful effects on the environment. When it falls to the ground in the form of precipitation, it affects all the surfaces with which it comes into contact, and flows through the ground, entering the aquifers.

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Due to its corrosive nature, it deteriorates the surfaces of constructions and buildings, affects soils and crops, jungles and forests.

However, where its effect is most harmful is in the water, since it increases the acidity in rivers, lakes, lagoons, streams, swamps, etc., affecting the life of many aquatic organisms, which, in turn, leads to a state of environmental imbalance.

See also Environmental balance.

Acid Rain Prevention

Fighting against the phenomenon of acid rain implies adopting a series of measures aimed at reducing the emissions into the atmosphere of the polluting substances that cause it. Some measures that could contribute to this would be:

  • Use alternative energy sources.
  • Stimulate the use of natural gas.
  • Encourage the use of public transportation to the detriment of personal automotive transportation.
  • Implement and expand electric transportation systems.
  • Establish regulations for the industry to reduce the emission of polluting substances.
  • Reduce sulfur levels in fuels.
  • Save energy at home and work.

However, the responsibility for creating controls and implementing regulations rests primarily with governments and industry.

See also Environmental impact.