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Acid Rain - Essay 10

  • Date Submitted: 11/17/2010 04:35 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 52.2 
  • Words: 887
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What is Acid Rain:
Acid rain is a broad term used to describe a precipitation, as rain, snow, or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals, as the pollutants from coal smoke, chemical manufacturing, and smelting, that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapour: harmful to the environment.
Acid rain is a generic term that includes all precipitation with high acid content. This precipitation, when introduced into groundwater sources, lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, etc., eventually produces an inhospitable environment for aquatic plant and animal life. Acid rain can also damage crops and buildings
Acid rain is produced when chemical pollutants interact with sunlight to produce sulphuric and nitric acids. These acids combine with moisture in the air (groundwater sources that have evaporated and condensed) to produce acid rain, snow, etc. Since there is usually more sunlight in the summer months, acid rain tends to be more acidic in the summer.
Acid rain is the result of industrial pollution, which causes rainwater to carry small quantities of acidic compounds such as sulphuric and nitric acid. Contaminated rainwater can upset the chemical balance rivers and lakes, killing fish and other organisms and also damage plants, trees and buildings.

Effects of acid rain:
Acids can affect receiving systems in a variety of ways, some good, others bad. Addition of nitrate to ecosystems deficient in nitrogen can lead to enhanced biologic productivity. The benefits, however, may be offset by toxic effects associated with the release of aluminium and magnesium from clay minerals if the pH of soils falls below about 5.5. Leaching of metals from soils and sediments also can have adverse effects on aquatic systems. Fish may be killed by aluminium even under conditions where the pH is considered otherwise benign. Given the current rates of acid deposition, the pH of a number of lakes in the north-eastern United States...


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