Ssss: Ph and Bobb Acid Rain Essay

Submitted By mbobb1986
Words: 1696
Pages: 7

Manessa Bobb
Acid Rain
Sci 275
August 13th, 2011

Acid rain is rain that is acidic due to certain pollutants in the air. The rain is unusually acidic because it contains elevated levels of hydrogen ions. Acid rain is a form of acid deposition, which can be found in a wet or dry form. Wet deposition can be anything from rain to sleet, snow, or fog. Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which in turn reacts with the water molecules in the atmosphere and produces acids in which the sunlight increases the reaction rate. Since sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide easily dissolves in water, it can be carried far by the wind, damaging lakes, streams, forests, plants, and animals. Acid rain is measured according to a ph scale. A ph scale measures the ph of a substance. It is logarithmic and because of that reason each ph value below 7 is ten times more acidic. The lower the ph of a substance the more acidic it is. The ph of pure water is 7 but because carbon dioxide is dissolved in it, the rain water becomes acidic giving it a ph of 5.5. “As of the year 2000, the most acidic rain falling in the U.S. has a ph of about 4.3” (EPA, 2010). The acidity in rain is monitored by The National Deposition Program and The Clean Air Status and Trends Network. These programs collect data on acid deposition and give atmospheric data. The data that is collected helps to monitor the acidity levels throughout the world for beneficial research. Human activities are the main cause of acid rain. Sulfur dioxide is the main source for acidification in rain water. Over the years humans have released so many chemicals in the atmosphere that the mix of gases has changed. Cars, trucks, buses, equipments, and factories also help to contribute to producing pollutants in the air. Power plants release the majority of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides when fossil fuels are burned to produce electricity. The gases emitted from the plants can be carried for hundreds of kilometers in the atmosphere. The environment is mostly affected by acid rain. Crops, trees, lakes, rivers, and animals are very much affected. If there are high levels of acidity in surface water, fish and other aquatic animals are effected. At low ph levels fish eggs will not hatch and adult fish can die. Acid rain has also eliminated insect life and some fish species, including trout. Soils are damaged because it can not consume the acid and minerals are depleted causing stunt in the growth of plants. Acid rain also slows the growth of our forests killing our trees and damaging our source of oxygen. Acid water damages our water supply making our water non-drinkable. By the acid damaging our soil, crops and our water supply can become scarce. That being very detrimental would affect our supply and demand. As a result, people would be forced to pay a costly price for the bare necessities needed to live and survive. Acid rain also has a damaging effect on buildings, statues, monuments, and cars. The chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to peel, making them look old and worn down; reducing their value and beauty. Acid rain can affect humans in many ways. The particles that make up acid rain can cause respiratory diseases, cancer, and many other illnesses. The pollution also makes a preexisting illness worse. It can damage and harm our blood vessels and possibly cause death. When human skin comes in contact with acidic water in lakes or streams infections can be developed or other skin diseases can produce due to unwanted chemical reactions. If the air is breathed in by humans lung problems can develop as well. Finding a way to prevent acid rain is a highly debatable topic between environmentalist and corporate. Although it has not yet been figured out, several people have invented mechanisms to prevent it. Most of the preventions are made by