10 Interesting Facts about Acid Rain

Theses following facts about acid rain will give you much information about the rain is. Acid rain is or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. To get to know more about this kind of rain, here are some other facts about acid rain you might interested in.

Facts about acid rain 1: Definition

“Acid rain” is a popular term referring to the deposition of wet (rain, snow, sleet, fog, cloudwater, and dew) and dry (acidifying particles and gases) acidic components. Distilled water, once carbon dioxide is removed, has a neutral pH of 7. Liquids with a pH less than 7 are acidic, and those with a pH greater than 7 are alkaline.

Facts about acid rain 2: Emission of Chemicals

The most important gas which leads to acidification is sulfur dioxide. Emissions of nitrogen oxides which are oxidized to form nitric acid are of increasing importance due to stricter controls on emissions of sulfur containing compounds.

Facts about acid rain - Acid cloud
Facts about acid rain – Acid cloud

Facts about acid rain 3: Natural Phenomena

The principal natural phenomena that contribute acid-producing gases to the atmosphere are emission from volcanoes. Thus, for example, fumaroles from the Laguna Caliente crater of Poas Volcano create extremely high amounts of acid rain and fog, with acidity as high as a pH of 2, clearing an area of any vegetation and frequently causing irritation to the eyes and lungs of inhabitants in nearby settlements.

Facts about acid rain 4: Human Activity

The principal cause of acid rain is sulfur and nitrogen compounds from human sources, such as electricity generation, factories, and motor vehicles. Electrical power complexes utilising coal are among the greatest contributors to gaseous pollutions that are responsible for acidic rain. 

Facts about acid rain - Bronze statue wrapped
Facts about acid rain – Bronze statue wrapped

Facts about acid rain 5: Oxidation

There are a large number of aqueous reactions that oxidize sulfur from S(IV) to S(IV), leading to the formation of sulfuric acid. The most important oxidation reactions are with ozone, hydrogen peroxide and oxygen.

Facts about acid rain 6: Wet Deposition

Wet deposition of acids occurs when any form of precipitation (rain, snow, and so on.) removes acids from the atmosphere and delivers it to the Earth’s surface.

Facts about acid rain - Damage by acid rain
Facts about acid rain – Damage by acid rain

Facts about acid rain 7: Dry Deposition

Acid deposition also occurs via dry deposition in the absence of precipitation. This can be responsible for as much as 20 to 60% of total acid deposition. This occurs when particles and gases stick to the ground, plants or other surfaces.

Facts about acid rain 8: Forest and Vegetation

Adverse effects may be indirectly related to acid rain, like the acid’s effects on soil or high concentration of gaseous precursors to acid rain. High altitude forests are especially vulnerable as they are often surrounded by clouds and fog which are more acidic than rain.

Facts about acid rain - Damage
Facts about acid rain – Damage

Facts about acid rain 9: Human Health Effects

Acid rain does not directly affect human health. The acid in the rainwater is too dilute to have direct adverse effects. However, the particulates responsible for acid rain do have an adverse effect. Increased amounts of fine particulate matter in the air do contribute to heart and lung problems including asthma and bronchitis.

Facts about acid rain 10: Affected Areas

Places significantly impacted by acid rain around the globe include most of eastern Europe from Poland northward into Scandinavia, the eastern third of the United States, and southeastern Canada. Other affected areas include the southeastern coast of China and Taiwan. 

Facts about acid rain - Formation
Facts about acid rain – Formation

Hope you would find those acid rain facts really interesting and useful for your additional reading.

Share this post

Post Comment