Acid Rain

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade December 2001

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Today, acid rain is a broad term referring to precipitation that is slightly more acidic then what is natural within our atmosphere. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, "a more precise term is acid deposition, which has two parts: wet and dry." Wet referring to actual acid rain, fog, snow, that hits the ground, and dry referring to acidic gases and particles. Acid rain is caused by either sulfur oxides(SOx), formed from combustions within car engines, or nitrogen oxides(NOx), which is created from burning fossil fuels within power plants, reacting in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and other chemicals that form acidic compounds. It is when these actually mix, that the rain becomes acidic forming sulfuric acid from the SOx, a very strong acid, and nitric acid from the NOx.

According a website arranged by the EPA, this acidic precipitation can account for part of the many things that happen within our environment.

It feels that acid rain can destroy forests, soils, endanger our streams and lakes, while at the same time "damaging our building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's cultural heritage." In another article written by Traci Watson of USA Today, measures that have been taken in New York to try and bring an end to this acidic precipitation have all but failed. Studies show, that even though levels of sulfur are down in that area, the acidity of local lakes and streams are still going up. I feel that both reactions are quite adequate based on the limited knowledge that I have of acid rain. The EPA is stating that it is damaging buildings and important historical monuments, along with polluting our lakes and streams as was stated by the USA Today...