Thursday, 22 May 2014

What Causes Acid Rain?

Welcome back my fellow learners, today we are going to read about the cause of acid rain and where it is mostly found.

Acid rain consists of water droplets that are highly acidic due to the atmospheric pollution, usually due to excessive amounts of sulphur and nitrogen belched out by cars and industrial factories. Acid rain is also referred to as acid deposition, this is because the term includes other types of precipitation like snow.

Acidic deposition happen in two ways, wet or dry. Wet deposition is any kind of mode that removes acid from the atmosphere, and then dumps them on the surface. Dry deposition stick to the ground with the help of dust and smoke when there is no precipitation. This form is hazardous, because precipitation will wash all pollutants into any lakes, streams and rivers.

Acidity is determined on the pH level of the droplets of water. PH is measures the amount of acid in liquid. Normal rain is always slightly acidic, and its PH level can be anywhere from 5.3 to 6.0. Acid deposition is below that scale.

Today, this acid deposition can be found in the north eastern US, south east of Canada, and Europe including parts of Sweden, Germany and Norway. Also, parts of South Asia, South Africa, Southern India and Sri Lanka are in danger of getting impacted by acid deposition.

Acid deposition can happen by natural sources such as volcanoes, but it is primarily caused by releasing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide when burning fossil fuel. When these gases are let loose into the atmosphere, they mix with the water, oxygen, etc., that are already present to create sulphuric and nitric acid and ammonium nitrate. These then disperse over areas due to wind patterns, then fall back onto the ground as acid rain.

So you see my friends, unless civilization learns how to stop relying on fossil fuels, our beautiful and sustaining Mother Earth will one day buck us off her back for good. Don't say you have not been warned.

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