Acid Rain 6 Essay Research Paper It

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Acid Rain 6 Essay, Research Paper It s Bringing Down Our Ecosystems “Acid rain is a term used to describe the acidity of wet and dry deposition” (Middleton 50). Deposition is just the process of depositing. According to Middleton, who wrote the Atlas of Environmental Issues, the different types of wet deposition are snow, sleet, hail, fog, mist and dew. This is also known as acid precipitation. Ash, soot, and gases are types of dry deposition. Many environmental effects have been attributed to acid rain. Such effects are damage to lakes, streams, groundwater, forests, agriculture, statues, buildings and human health. Acid rain has become an important issue around the world because once pollution is out in the air, it can cast out and received over long ranges. This means

that acid rain from one country can cause harm to another country (50). Patel, who wrote the article Acid Rain, suggests that acid rain is rain that has a low pH. Normally, rain is acidic because of the carbon dioxide that animals exhale. Rain becomes acidic from gases that disintegrate into the rain water. These gases out in the atmosphere give rain a pH of or around 5.0. Before the Industrial Revolution the pH of rain was generally between 5 and 6, so the term acid rain is now used to describe rain with a pH below 5. In areas where there are volcanoes, rain can be as low as 4.0 due to sulfuric acid ( Acid Rain What is Acid Rain? par 1). Middleton states that acid rain affects cities. It can damage vegetation, can speed up the disintegration of building stone, and can cause

damage to a person’s health. The Internet article Acid Rain and Deposition by Gow and Pidwimy reports that “emissions of sulfur dioxide are responsible for 60-70 % of the acid deposition that occurs globally. People have put more than 90 percent of sulfur in the air by using aerosols and burning fossil fuels. Coal contains 2-3 percent sulfur. When coal burning occurs sulfur dioxide is emitted in the air. Inhaling sulfur dioxide and very small particles can increase the frequency of breathing diseases and increase the number of attacks on people with asthma as well (50). To obtain zinc, nickel and copper, one must smelt metal sulfide ores. When volcanoes erupt it can add a lot of sulfur to the air in that area. When sulfur is out in the air, it can be “deposited on the

earth’s surface in the form of dry deposition”(”Acid Rain and Deposition” par 4). The Internet article Acid Rain and Deposition says that acid deposition influences the environment in many ways. Acid rain affects aquatic ecosystems by lowering their pH level. Aquatic systems such as streams, lakes and ponds are affected differently. It all depends on how they are set up. If the aquatic ecosystems are laid on bedrock or sediments that have a large amount of calcium or magnesium, they are naturally buffered from the acid deposition. If they lay on neutral or acidic bedrock, they are very sensitive to acid deposition because they do not have the nutrients needed to buffer the acidification (see picture below). Fish have declined in numbers due to acidification. Scientists

first thought that the decline in fish was due to the high acidity of the water. Something is acidic if the pH level is 6 or below. In the 1970 s scientists found out that the reason for the decrease was that lakes had a high amount of mercury, aluminum, and cadmium. The metals were coming from the soil around the water. When these metals become soluble, they become toxic. This causes a decline in fish (”Acid Rain and Deposition” par 10). H+ = Hydrogen So42- = Sulfate ( Acid Rain and Deposition Lake Acidification Figure 1) According to the Monitoring Acid Rain Youth Program (MARYP) Wet Desert is a term used to describe the clear, blue fishless lakes. Trout, burbot, and smallmouth are just a few of the fish who have disappeared from lakes. When the water is a certain pH level,