Acid Rain Research Paper - a paper explaining the direct effect of Acid Rain globally.

Essay by hmunshi19High School, 11th grade November 2014

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Review of Literature

Over the years, scientists, foresters, and other nature enthusiasts have found significant declines in nature. Trees, plants, animals; leaves and needles falling off when they should be healthy; even animals migrating to new places or dying off when things seem fine. In extreme cases, individual parts of forests seemed to die off without any obvious reasons. Problems appeared in much of China and mid-western America. After much analysis, scientists have come to the conclusion that acid rain causes the slow growth, injury, and in some cases, death of forests. But what is acid rain? What causes it, and what can we do to stop it?

Acid rain describes any form of precipitation with high levels of sulfuric and nitric acids. It can occur in many other types of precipitation, including rain, snow, fog, hail, etc. Rotting vegetation and erupting volcanoes can cause chemicals to be released into the air, but human activity is the main cause of acid rain.

The biggest contributors being the burning of fossil fuels by coal burning plants, factories, and automobiles (National Geographic, 2013).

When humans burn fossil fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) are released into the atmosphere. Winds may spread these acidic chemicals across for hundreds of miles. While in the air, SO₂ and NOₓ react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form mild solutions of both chemical gasses. When acid rain reaches Earth, it flows across the surface in runoff waters, enters the water system, and even sinks into soil.

Causes and Effects of Acid Rain

While acid rain is linked to both natural and man-made resources, it is only plausible that humans have the most direct correlation to acid rain that any other cause. Natural causes include situations such as...