Acid Rain and the effects on the environment.

Essay by casperin April 2003

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Acid Rain

Acid Rain is a term most all of us have heard of from time to time. But many of us know little about just what it is, or how it is caused. To tell you the truth I had no idea of what it was until I started researching for this report.

?Acid rain? refers to acids falling from the sky. The more appropriate or precise term used for acid rain is acid deposition. Acid deposition comes in two forms, wet and dry. Wet acid deposition is acidic rain, fog and snow, sleet or hail. Dry acid deposition refers to acidic particles or acidic gases.

Acid rain is measured on a point system of 0 to 14.

0=maximum acidity

7=neutral point

14=maximum alkalinity (opposite of acidity)

Acid rain falls 0 to 5 on the scale showing a more acidic composition. A small change in points on the scale represents big changes in acidity.

Just one unit from pH 6.0 to pH 5.0 indicates a tenfold increase in acidity.

Acid deposition can result in a variety of different effects. Ecological effects directly caused from acid rain in our streams and lakes can harm or kill individual fish. It can also reduce fish population numbers, or entirely eliminate species of fish from a body of water. If you have ever had an aquarium of fish before you had to test the level of pH in the water, if it was to low you had to add alkaline to it. If you failed to do so, your fish would begin to float and you would eventually have to give them a sea burial. If the acidity is to high, fish eggs may not hatch, and some species of insects may die. In an ecosystem organisms within that environment are reliant on the others.