Acid Rain.

Essay by daniboy153High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2005

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What Causes Acid Rain? One of the main causes of acid rain is sulfur dioxide. Natural sources, which emit this gas, are Volcanoes, sea spray, rotting vegetation and plankton. However, the burning of fossil fuels, such as Coal and oil, are largely to be blamed for approximately half of the emissions of this gas in the world. When sulfur dioxide reaches the atmosphere, it oxidizes to first form a sulfate ion. It then becomes sulfuric acid as it joins with hydrogen atoms in the air and falls back down to earth. Oxidation occurs the most in clouds and especially in heavily polluted air where other compounds such as ammonia and ozone help to catalyze the reaction, changing more sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid. However, not all of the sulphur dioxide is changed to sulfuric acid. In fact, a substantial amount can float up into the atmosphere, move over to another area and return to earth unconverted.

In the following pages I will show the effects of acid rain on: * Effect on Trees and Soils * Effect on Lakes and Aquatic Systems * Effect on Materials * Effect on Atmosphere * Effect on Architecture * Effect on Humans Effect on Trees and Soils One of the most serious impacts of acid precipitation is on forests and soils. Great damage is done when sulfuric acid falls onto the earth as rain.

Nutrients present in the soils are washed away. Aluminum also present in the soil is freed and the roots of trees can absorb this toxic element. Thus, the trees are starved to death as they are deprived of their vital nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Not the entire sulphur dioxide is converted to sulfuric acid. In fact, a substantial amount can float into the atmosphere, move over to...