Acid rain is a result of air pollution that is harmful to the environment, generally caused by fuels being burnt. When any type of fuel is burnt, many different chemicals are produced. These gases that are released react with the water in clouds, and the rain from these clouds is acid rain. This type of acid disposition can appear in many other forms besides just rain, such as sleet, snow, and fog (Editorial Board, 2013). There are several sources of pollution and many causes for acid rain. Though acid rain can be generated by volcanoes and decaying vegetation, it is mostly caused by man-made activities (Carper, 2012). The most polluting gases that cause acid rain are nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides (Yedjou, 2015). Different industrial processes contribute greatly to producing these harmful gases, such as the production of iron and steel, factories, chemical industries, and power stations. The burning of fossil fuels by these power-production companies and industries release sulfur into the air that combines with oxygen to form sulfur dioxide (Carper, 2012).
Basicily anything that burns fuel, produce these polluting gases, such as the fumes that come out of a vehicles exhaust, or the heat we use to warm our homes. Acid rain greatly impacts the natural environment by polluting water sources, such as lakes and streams. In return this kills plants and fish, which negatively affects other animals and entire ecosystems. This type of acid disposition also damages soil and trees, and accelerates the decay of buildings and structures (Yedjou, 2015). Acid rain also affects human health by being inhaled into people’s lungs which increases premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as bronchitis and asthma (Carper, 2012). Though acid rain is not a major issue today, there are still steps that can be taken to help eliminate this issue.
Acid rain can be carried great distances by wind direction, and the countries that produce it may not always be the ones most affected by it (Yedjou, 2015). So if these countries would be more considerate of their neighbors and where the acid rain they produce actually falls, then it could help to decrease this pollution. Limiting the amount of sulfur and nitrogen oxides that are released into the atmosphere, cleaning up smokestacks and exhaust pipes, and using alternative energy sources can also help to mitigate the problem (Yedjou, 2015). Everyone can play their part in reducing acid rain by turning off appliances when not in use, turning off lights, reducing heating and air conditioner usage, and insulating their homes. Conserving resources is also extremely helpful, such as carpooling and using public transportation.
Carper, L. (2012). Fossil fuels: Environmental Effects. Retrieved from http://www.ems.psu.
Editorial Board. (2013). Environmental Science. Schaumburg: Words of Wisdom, LLC. Yedjou, C. (2015, March 09). Colorado Technical University. Live Chat. SCI201-11-213-6. Retrieved from http://ctuadobeconnect.careeredonline.com/p3aqzu14uuu/?launcher=fals &fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal
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