Acid rain meaning

What is Acid Rain:

Acid rain 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 ranges 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.

Causes of acid rain

Air pollutants are what produce acid rain. Although both the decaying vegetation layer and eruptive volcanoes can release some chemicals that promote the formation of acidic 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 in contact with water, oxygen or other substances, react to form 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 in contact, and flows through the ground, entering the aquifers.

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

However, where it is most damaging its effect is in the waters, as 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 emissions into the atmosphere of the polluting substances that originate it. Some measures that could contribute to this would be:

  • Use alternative energy sources.
  • Encourage the use of natural gas.
  • Encourage the use of public transport to the detriment of personal automotive transport.
  • Implement and expand electrical transportation systems.
  • Establish regulations to 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.

Tags:  Science General Expressions-In-English