How Acid Rain Affects Plants

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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What is acid rain? Acid rain is obviously rain that is acidic. The rain becomes acidic because of gases, which dissolve in the rainwater or because of a severe amount of CO2 which come mostly from pollution.

How it's made? It Made? More than half of acid rain comes from sulphur dioxide. You can get sulfur dioxide from volcanos and rotting vegetation. The rest comes from forms of nitrogen called oxides or different types of pollution. Nitrous oxides are gases are produced from burning fossil fuels, for example a cars exhaust system.

What is the damage? Acid rain causes damage to lakes by causing lakes to become acidic, therefore killing off this acid rain also prevents fish from reproducing. Acid also frees metals, which were held in rocks. Plants and algae also get affected from increased acid levels. Trees are also affected by acid rain; the acid reacts with many nutrients that trees need to live off of, like calcium and potassium.

The trees can then also be damaged easier, such as being blown down, or breaking under snow. Acid rain also affects buildings, they affect them by getting into the minerals that make up the architecture and corroding the stone.

How big a problem is it? Acid rain is a major global problem. The map below shows how extreme of a problem it is.

How can we help stop acid rain pollution? If we want to stop the damaging effects of acid rain we have to stop NOX and SO2 from being released into the atmosphere. We can do this by conserving energy. For example, turn off lights when you leave a room. Use a bicycle for short journeys instead of a car. Make sure your house has insulation done right.

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