Describe And Explain Why Acid Rain Is A Global Issue

Essay by darkness_kitten June 2004

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Describe And Explain Why

Acid Rain Is A Global Issue

In this essay I hope to describe and explain why acid rain is becoming an international problem.

Acid rain is rain, which is more acidic than normal rain.

A global issue is in other words-an international problem.

I will be discussing how acid rain is formed, the effects, and what can be done to stop acid rain from forming in the first place.

Acid rain is formed when Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide dissolve in rainwater, this causes it to become acidic. Normal rainwater has a ph value of between 5 & 6-acid rain has readings below 5.

Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide are both gases, which are emitted into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels (mainly in industry and from road transport). Sulphur Dioxide comes from sulphur impurities in the fossil fuels. However the Nitrogen Oxides are created from a reaction between the Nitrogen and the Oxygen in the air, caused by the heat of burning.

The hot gases rise and become oxides in clouds-this turns the gases into acids, which mix with the rainwater. This rainwater then falls as acid rain. Acid rain is sometimes known as "Wet Deposition", which means that the acids fall dissolved in rainwater.

When acid rain does fall it can have a devastating effect on the environment: The chemical weathering of buildings and statues, Increasing the acidity of soil which can reduce the quality of crops, contaminating fresh water supplies which in time can greatly damage health. The destruction of forests as acid rain destroys tree roots, and corrodes the biomass. It can also make freshwater lakes so acidic, that all the fish die.

It is an international problem because the effects of acidic rainfall can affect nearly all the...