What is Acid Rain ?, Acid Rain is Caused by ?, Acid rain gk facts, What is acid rain upsc.

What is Acid Rain ? Important Facts

Let’s read about What is Acid Rain ?, Acid Rain is Caused by ?, Acid rain gk facts, What is acid rain upsc.

What is Acid Rain ? -:

~ Acid Rain is the precipitation of acid in the form of rain. When oxides of nitrogen and sulphur react with rainwater, then this results in Acid Rain.

~ Acid rain refers to all precipitation like rain, fog, dew, snow that is more acidic than normal water.

~ A pH less than 7 is acidic. The pH value of regular rainwater is between 5 and 6.. The rainwater with pH of less than 5.6 is called Acid Rain.

~ The phenomenon of Acid rain was discovered in 1852 by Scottish chemist Robert Angus Smith in Manchester, United Kingdom.

~ In acid rain, water vapour reaches the atmosphere, condenses, and reacts with atmospheric gases like SO2 and NOx . When it rains, these atmospheric pollutants are deposited on the soil, vegetation, surface water or reservoirs. The deposition ultimately results in damage because of the acidity of the pollutants.

~ Acid rain is caused by atmospheric pollution from acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

~ Sulphur dioxide sources are Fossil fuel burning, power plants, smelting of metal sulphide ores, industrial sources, industrial production of sulfuric acid in metallurgical, chemical and fertiliser industries volcanoes, seas and oceans, decomposition of organic matter.

~ Oxides of nitrogen sources are Fossil fuel burning, lightning, biomass burning, forest fires, oceans, power plants.

~ Natural phenomena did not contribute the acidic rains as compared to the anthropogenic activities.

~ Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) released into the air by fossil-fuel power plants, vehicles and oil refineries are the biggest cause of acid rain today, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Two thirds of sulfur dioxide and one fourth of nitrogen oxide found in the atmosphere come from electric power generators.

~ Sulphur dioxide (SO2), Oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and ozone (O3) are the primary causes of acid rain. These chemicals interact with other chemicals and reactants present in the atmosphere and result into acid deposition.

~ Some other organic acids like formic and acetic acids also contribute to 5-20% acidity in total acid rain after Peroxy radicals react with formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

~ There are two types of deposition, Wet Deposition and the other Dry deposition.

~ Wet deposition refers to depositions in form of rain, fog, snow or mist. When the acidic chemicals in the air are blown into areas where the weather is wet, the chemicals fall to the ground in the form of rain, snow, fog, or mist. As this acidic water flows over and through the ground, it affects various plants and animals.

~ Dry deposition refers to depositions in form of dust or smoke. When the acidic chemicals in the air stick to buildings, homes, cars, trees or fall on ground. Dry deposited gases and particles can be washed from these surfaces by rainstorms, through runoff. This runoff water makes the resulting mixture more acidic.

~ Acid rain is very harmful to monuments and building primarily built of Marble and limestone. Marble and limestone both consist of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Due to acid rain, buildings and monuments made of marble and limestone are now being gradually eroded away where calcium carbonate and Sulphuric acid result in the dissolution of CaCO3 to give aqueous ions, which in turn are washed away in the water flow.

~ Acid Rain causes respiratory issues in animals and humans.

~ Acid rain lowers the pH of soil moisture and water bodies such as ponds and lakes. Acid rain leaches aluminium from the soil. That aluminium may be harmful to plants as well as animals. Acid rain also removes minerals and nutrients from the soil that trees need to grow.

~ Acid rain can change the composition of soil and bodies of water, making them uninhabitable for local animals and plants. Increased acidity alone damages many plant and animal species.

~ At high elevations, acidic fog and clouds might strip nutrients from trees’ foliage, leaving them with brown or dead leaves and needles. The trees are then less able to absorb sunlight, which makes them weak and less able to withstand freezing temperatures.

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