Acid rain is caused by the mixing of moisture in the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides, forming sulfuric acid and nitric acid in the precipitation that falls to the earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, the most common source of these chemicals in the atmosphere is air pollution from industry, generation of electricity and automobiles.Know More
Volcanoes and forest fires also release oxides into the air that cause acid rain, but these do not match the proportions caused by man-made pollution. Acid rain can cause damage to buildings, vehicles and natural formations. The acids dissolve limestone and other minerals, accelerating natural weathering of stone. The low pH of the rain affects plant growth and pollutes surface and ground water. About.com reports that over half of the forests in Germany and Poland are affected by acid rain.
Acid rain dilutes as it mixes with water. However, it accrues over time as water evaporates from bodies of water in the water cycle. In addition, acid rain causes clay soils to release metals, including aluminum and magnesium, which further lower the pH of the water. Approximately 50,000 lakes in the United States alone have a pH below normal, and several hundred have fallen to pH levels that no longer support life.Learn more about Environmental Science
Acid rain is formed when nitrogen oxides or sulfur oxides in the atmosphere react with suspended water droplets and produce acids. The chemical reaction equation for the production of acid rain resulting from sulfur oxides is: SO2 + HOH -> H2SO3. The reaction equation for acid rain produced from nitrogen oxides is: 2NO2 + HOH -> HNO2 + HNO3.Full Answer >
The effects of acid rain are most prominent in aquatic environments such as lakes, rivers, creeks and marches. However, acid precipitation is increasingly damaging forest ecosystems through the leeching of soil nutrients and weakening of trees' natural defenses.Full Answer >
Acid rain occurs when compounds such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air, causing a chemical reaction. These compounds mix and react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form acidic pollutants. The compounds mix easily with water, and the wind can carry them great distances.Full Answer >
The gaping hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere over the Antarctic was caused primarily by high concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals called CFCs. The vast hole in the ozone was discovered by scientists in the 1980s, who upon discovering the dramatic loss in ozone cover, set to work determining a primary cause. They found excessive concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the area of concern; CFCs were frequently used as additives in spray cans and refrigerants, but are now banned in most areas of the world.Full Answer >