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Acid Rain - Essay 9

  • Date Submitted: 03/13/2011 06:13 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.8 
  • Words: 854
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Acid Rain, form of air pollution, currently a subject of great controversy because of the widespread environmental damage for which it has been blamed. It forms when oxides of sulphur and nitrogen combine with atmospheric moisture to yield sulphuric and nitric acids, which may then be carried long distances from their source before they are deposited by rain. The pollution may also take the form of snow or fog or be precipitated in dry forms. In fact, although the term “acid rain” has been in use for more than a century—it is derived from atmospheric studies that were made in the region of Manchester, England—the more accurate scientific term would be “acid deposition”. The dry form of such precipitation is just as damaging to the environment as the liquid form.

The problem of acid rain originated with the Industrial Revolution, and it has been growing ever since. The severity of its effects has long been recognized in local settings, as exemplified by the periods of acid smog in heavily industrialized areas. The widespread destructiveness of acid rain, however, has become evident only in recent decades. One large area that has been studied extensively is northern Europe, where acid rain has eroded structures, injured crops and forests, and threatened or depleted life in freshwater lakes. In 1984, for example, environmental reports indicated that almost half of the trees in Germany's Black Forest had been damaged by acid rain. The north-eastern United States and eastern Canada have also been particularly affected by this form of pollution; damage has also been detected in other areas of these countries and other regions of the world. In China, rapid industrial growth and an increasing demand for coal in the 1990s has led to a dramatic rise in environmental damage from acid rain. Nearly 40 per cent of China's land area is now affected, a figure scientists expect will continue to rise.

Industrial emissions have been blamed as the major cause of acid rain....


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