Acid Rain Find Out What Causes It and What Can Be Done to Stop It
Acid rain is a form of precipitation caused when compounds present in fossil fuels and other human activities enter the atmosphere. When carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide or nitrogen oxide are released into the air, they react with water vapor, oxygen, and other chemicals to form acids. This process is called ‘acidification’, and the resulting compounds are called ‘acidic’.
Table of Content
1. The causes of acid rain
2. The impact of acid rain
3. Ways to reduce and prevent acid rain
4. Why is this bad for your health?
5. The risks of acid rain on your home’s exterior
6. What can we do to keep our environment safe?
The Causes of Acid Rain
The bad thing about acid rain is that unlike other types of rain, it’s harmful to the environment and living creatures.
This type of rain occurs when nitric oxide and sulphur dioxide — both common pollutants — mix with water in the atmosphere. These vapours then fall back to earth with their acidic properties intact.
The biggest cause of acid rain are sulphates, an air pollutant that come primarily from coal-fuelled power plants and the burning of peat.
Acid rain is caused by many other pollutants as well, which have varying effects on waters, fish and plant life.
The most common cause of acid rain is the pollution caused by fossil fuels. As fossil fuels form a gas when burned, some of the metals from them react with water vapor in the air, creating the acid.
The most common ones are sulphur and nitrogen oxides. Burning coal for energy has resulted in sulphur dioxide emissions in the atmosphere.
Industrial smokestacks also contribute significantly to acid rain as they emit large amounts of pollutants mainly in areas near factories.
While the exact causes of acid rain are unknown, it is believed that several factors contribute to its formation.
Of course, the biggest factor has to do with climate changes. As we have seen, oceans contain alkalinity and rainfall contains acidity.
When these two types of precipitation join, they form an acid rain.
This can be caused by several different factors such as emissions from cars and factories, volcanic eruptions, or even lightning bolts hitting the ground.
The Impact of Acid Rain
The industrial revolution of the late 18th and through the 19th centuries brought many beneficial devices to our lives, but in parallel it also caused a great amount of pollution.
Pollution became an increasingly important problem as new devices came into being.
The most dangerous type of pollution is acid rain. It’s a chemical pollution which is the main cause of damage to our natural environment, like air and water.
Acid rain has an adverse impact on the normal growth of plants and fish population. It also degrades buildings, monuments, and statues.
But by working together, we can reduce acid rain’s impact on our planet — and the organisms that depend on it for survival.
Scientists have been concerned about the effects of acid rain for a long time, but it’s only been in the last few years that the public has become aware of its devastating effects.
How Can We Make a Difference in the World?
No action is too small if it has a positive impact on the world around you. Be mindful of your actions and always consider how they can have a positive effect, no matter how insignificant they might seem.
While it isn’t a huge concern when you’re walking around your backyard, rain will have a greater acidic concentration when it gets into the water supply and begins to react with rocks and minerals present in the soil and sediments.
It is a sad fact that many of the problems confronting our planet are caused by humans, and by factories.
There are factories that release smoke without filters since it occurs in places where there is little or no people.
Acid rain is formed when these emissions encounter clouds, watering and polluting rivers, lakes, and plants. Since this pollutant attacks the leaves of plants, their growth is affected.
Rain is a blessing for our earth. It helps to take away the excess heat from the sun and keeps our water cycle clean.
At the same time, it falls from the sky and can have negative impacts on other organisms around the world. Acid rain is real, but it only really affects certain locations in the world.
However, I believe this is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly because if this trend continues, our planet will not be hospitable to life in the far future. Remember:
- Acid rain is a pollutant
- It destroys lakes and wetlands
- Acid rain is harmful to our ecosystem
- It affects animals and plants on land and in the water
- Its causes include car emissions and coal power plants
- It can dissolve limestone, concrete, and other materials
Ways to Reduce and Prevent Acid Rain
We are all the aware of the negative effects that come with environmental pollution since it is a prominent issue to deal with nowadays.
There is already a lot of discussion about climate change and how it affects our planet for example. The cause of this can be found in vehicles that release harmful gases into the air.
Acid rain emerged as one of the major environmental concerns while the world’s population was increasing at a fast rate in the 1960s.
Even though natural acid rain has been occurring for ages, it became a problem when human activities like burning fossil fuels caused much greater levels to develop.
Most people are concerned that this trend may be continuing, and that acid rain could continue to grow in the future. If we could reduce or even prevent acid rain in the future, many good things might happen.
For one thing, corrosion of buildings and monuments can be limited, making them last longer. No automobile runs well when its metal parts are corroded by acid, so acid rain can also pose problems for cars.
Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides from sources such as coal-fired power plants, motor vehicles and industrial boilers.
Nitric and sulfuric acid are the main negative effects on the environment. The natural environment can be severely damaged to a point where our crops and forests cannot grow, or even live.
To reduce or hopefully prevent acid rain in the future everybody needs to expect less, use less, and discard less toxins.
The best method to prevent acid rain is to prevent pollutants from reaching the atmosphere.
If we reduce the number of pollutants that factories, automobiles, and other industrial areas release into the air, then acid rain would, hopefully, have a smaller chance of affecting our environment.
Why Is This Bad for Your Health?
So, you might have heard about the phenomenon called acid rain, how it is bad for your health and the environment. But do you know what it is?
The term acid rain refers to a process whereby certain chemical compounds in the air react with water in precipitation to form acidic solutions.
Now this chemical reaction doesn’t only occur naturally but also when pollutants from society add to that reactivity.
It is a major environmental issue that has unpredictable consequences, harm our natural heritage, and affects the health of millions of people.
It triggers soil erosion, interferes with agriculture, increases the acidity of lakes and streams and contributes to the injury and death of some forest trees.
Acid rain is not good for you. Too much acid rain or smoke can easily cause colds and sore throats, make asthma symptoms worse, or even increase the chance that someone will develop lung diseases in the future.
It can also make it harder for the body to take in oxygen, which affects how well the body works.
Some of the symptoms that can be caused by the pollutants from acid rain include coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and skin rashes.
Smog and car exhaust can also cause these symptoms, but acid rain falls out of the air which means you may be breathing it in without realising it when you go for a run or walk outside.
Some people may downplay the effects of pollution, but my conclusion is that we should try to prevent these pollutants falling on us as often as we can. Remember:
- Acid rain is polluting our water systems
- It has a corrosive effect on a lot of materials
- It may also alter soil composition in unsafe ways
- There might be short term and long-term health impacts
- The more polluted the area, the worse the effects will be
- Acid rain can significantly affect your respiratory health
The Risks of Acid Rain on Your Home's Exterior
As you can imagine, acid rain causes a lot of damage to buildings. You’ve probably noticed that the stone of your building is sometimes eroded or dissolved.
Maybe it seemed like it happened suddenly. The truth is that, over time, acid rain has been poisoning your building and can lead to much more serious problems.
In some cases, the damage that it causes is visible. For example, concrete structures develop brown patches, erosion takes place and eventually leads to building collapse.
However, these visible damages are permanent and cannot be reversed by restoration efforts.
Acid rain causes damage by eroding metals, eating away at surfaces including paint and stone, and breaking down concrete.
Any structure exposed to acid rain can sustain structural damage. Acid rain is caused either by natural processes or human activities and transportation.
Does the Risk of Acid Rain on Your Home's Exterior Scare You?
The damage that acid rain can do to the exterior of your home can be easily prevented. Acid rain is common in certain areas with heavy industrial pollution. It’s more than just a simple rain, it contains gasses that when it falls and mixes with fallen water, absorbs into your house’s surface and deteriorates it over time.
Pollutants like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react in the atmosphere to form components of acid rain such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid.
While industrial processes, traffic and even volcanoes can cause acid rain, it is also common in areas that produce a significant number of pollutants. These can include mining, burning fossil fuels and smog from cars and factories.
Acid rain contains chlorides that soak through the soil and hit the water table thus interacting with iron and aluminium to form an acidic compound. The higher the rain, the stronger the acid will be.
As it pertains to different materials, there are varying effects. Concrete starts to degrade while redwood trees are affected causing a corrosive effect on their bark.
Marble and limestone will degrade over time as well, but concrete is affected worse because organic materials are broken down faster than inorganic ones.
Acid rain occurs all over the world, but some areas are considerably more affected than others.
What Can We Do to Keep Our Environment Safe?
What should we do? I mean, do we even have a choice. The answer is: Yes, yes, we do.
We can be effective by making good decisions on how we use our resources. Maybe not you, but there are still people that feel that the initiative comes from corporations or governments – wrong again!
How about you just start with your little corner of the world. If you change your habits for the environment then it will trickle down to other people and slowly, our impact would be felt in bigger ways.
We all know that our environment is threatened by different factors today.
There are many other things that we need to worry about that can be life threatening, but what can we do to keep our environment safe? That’s the question of the day.
The first step is figuring out how to reduce the number of pollutants released into the environment.
It’s not just the air we breathe in, it’s also the environment that our food grows in — which are both affected by chemicals like acid rain.
In fact, the way we live and what we do daily are affecting our planet.
It’s not something that belongs to the future, but our present: where we live, what we eat and drink, and even what we breathe in affects our environment.
If you haven’t been worried much about an environmental problem, it’s time you should. Acid rain is one of the biggest problems on Earth today and it has a lot to do with your happiness.
There are some simple steps that anyone can follow to help keep our environment safe. We just must be responsible and understand what it means to live sustainably.
It might mean sacrificing some luxuries, but with global warming and the threat of climate change more and more apparent these days.
We must take responsibility for ourselves and future of our planet.
It’s never too late to make a difference, so think about what you can do today.
Acid rain happens when two types of pollution, nitric oxide, and sulphur dioxide (both prevalent pollutants), combine with water in the atmosphere. The specific causes of acid rain are unknown, however various factors are thought to contribute to its creation. It can be generated by car and factory pollutants, volcanic eruptions, or lightning strikes. Acid rain is created by sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions from sources such as coal. This pollutant damages the leaves of plants, causing them to grow slower. Many beneficial things could happen to our world if we could lessen or perhaps eliminate acid rain in the future.
The main harmful effects on the environment are nitric and sulfuric acid. The natural environment can be badly harmed to the point where crops and forests can no longer flourish or even survive. Acid rain corrodes metals, eats away at surfaces such as paint and stone, and dissolves concrete. Sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic molecules combine in the atmosphere to generate acid rain components such as sulfuric acid and nitric acid.
What can we do to protect our environment? There are easy steps that anyone may take to help protect our world. It’s never too late to make a difference, so consider what you can do right now.
Acid rain occurs when pollutants released into the air from human activities comes into contact with water vapour and droplets of water in clouds.