Acid Rain Essay Research Paper Pollution comes

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Acid Rain Essay, Research Paper Pollution comes in various forms. Whether it?s toxic waste, CFC?s, or sewage, they are all hazardous, to the earth. These can deplete the earth and it?s inhabitants of resources, causing a harmful change. A product of pollution is acid rain. We shall see that acidification is harmful to all forms of life. Acid rain is any form of precipitation that is polluted by sulphur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOX). This acid precipitation can be in the form of rain, snow, sleet, fog, or cloud vapors. The acidity of substances dissolved in water are measured by their pH levels. Normal precipitation pH levels fall between 5.0-5.6.2 When levels fall below these numbers, then the precipitation is said to be acidic. There are two ways in which acid

deposition can form. The first way occurs when nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide land on the Earth?s surface, and interact with frost or dew. The second way takes place due to the oxidation of nitrogen oxides or sulphur dioxide gases that are released into the air.3 Since it may take up to several days for the gases to be altered into their acid counter-parts, the pollutants can travel miles away from their original source. Emissions of (SO2) are responsible for the majority of the acid deposition, which falls to Earth. When we burn coal, we are releasing (SO2), into the air, since coal is slight made up of sulphur. Volcanic eruptions can add a great deal of sulphur into the atmosphere. Everyday organic decay adds sulphur into the air as well. (SO2) can hit the Earth?s surface

in dry forms or wet forms, by undergoing the following reactions: (SO2 + H30 *** H3SO3) (SO2 + ?O2 *** SO3 + H3SO4)2 Human activity is the major cause for nitrogen oxides? presence in our atmosphere, such as forest fires and the combustion of oil, coal, and gas. The other causes are due to nature. Lightning, volcanic action, and bacteria in soil are just to name a few. The following chemical reactions show how acids of nitrogen form: (NO2 + ?O2 *** NO2) (2NO2 + H3O *** HNO2 + HNO3) (NO2 + OH *** HNO3)2 Acid rain can affect plant life directly when the surface of leaves and needles come into contact with acid vapor or fog. This causes a reduction in the tree?s ability to withstand the cold. A direct result would be the tree’s incapability of reproduction. It can also harm plant

life indirectly, by the acidification of soils. Acid rain can cause soil to loose nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. In very acid conditions, aluminum becomes soluble, and is released from the soil. At high enough concentrations, aluminum can cause damage to roots. Acid rain causes a nutrient imbalance, in soil. Although it is true that nitrogen promotes forest growth, plant life also needs other nutrients. Precipitation polluted by nitrogen can contain heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, and lead. This process is known as nitrogen saturation.1 These too, can cause damage to tree roots. Besides trees, plants are also affected by acid rain. Reductions in pH levels can cause seed germination to be inhibited. Plant structures become weak, due to the loss of

nutrients to the plant?s tissues.4 Flowering of certain plants may not occur due to lack of essential minerals. Marine life is also greatly affect by acid rain. Acid water can leach high levels of aluminum from the bedrock. Rocks that contain great amounts of calcium or magnesium can act as a neutralizer. Those rocks and soils that lack some sort of buffers can cause grave damage to marine fish and plants. There are two ways in which aluminum can harm aquatic environments. It can cause a fish to suffocate, because aluminum precipitates in gills, thus interfering in the transport of oxygen. Secondly, fish produce mucus to combat the aluminum, in their gills. The mucus then builds up a clogs the fish?s gills.5 In middle latitudes many bodies of water experience what is called ?acid