Q:

Where does acid rain occur in the world?

A:

Acid rain occurs in any area where polluting acidic materials enter the atmosphere and mix with water to form a solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid. The acid comes from sulfur dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen oxides, which result from the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and are expelled by car exhausts.

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These acids can be blown in the wind and enter atmospheres in neighboring states and even across national borders hundreds of miles away. According to Texas A&M University, the majority of acid rain occurs downwind from power plants, and in the United States, many of these plants are found in the Midwest and throughout the eastern coast regions.

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  • Q:

    What does acid rain do?

    A:

    Acid rain threatens and damages the ecosystem. It can stunt the growth of trees, change the acidity of the water and causes toxic substances to be released from the soil, harming many aquatic animals and living things. It also weakens the materials and hastens the natural erosion of concrete structures.

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  • Q:

    How is acid rain formed?

    A:

    Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air where they rise and mix with water, oxygen and other chemicals. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides dissolve very easily in water and can travel great distances to combine with the moisture in the air.

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  • Q:

    How does acid rain affect animals?

    A:

    Acid rain affects animals by changing the pH of their environments. The increased acidity causes anatomical changes, reduces the population of some organisms and may affect reproduction in some species.

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  • Q:

    What countries are affected by acid rain?

    A:

    China, Russia, and the United States are all heavily industrialized areas that suffer from acid rain. However, air pollution moves long distances by traveling on the wind. As a result, many cities and countries all over the world suffer from problems related to acid rain.

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