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Acid Rain

"What is Acid Rain?" You hear about it all the time in the news and it is very important to
the earth's ecosystem. In simple terms, acid rain is rain that is more acidic than normal. All
objects in nature have a certain level of acidity but acid rain has too much acid in it. Acid
rain is a complicated problem, caused by air pollution. Acid rain’s spread and damage
involves weather, chemistry, soil, and the life cycles of plants and animals on the land and
from acid rain in the water. Acidity is measured using a pH scale, with the number 7 being
neutral. Therefore, a body with a pH value of less than 7 is acidic. On the other hand, a
value greater than 7 is basic. The pH of 5.6 has been used as the baseline in identifying
acid rain.Any precipitation that has a pH value of less than 5.6 is considered to be acid
precipitation. Readings of pH 2.4–as acidic as vinegar–were recorded during storms in
New England. During one particularly acid summer storm, rain falling on a lime-green
automobile leached away the yellow in the green paint, leaving blue raindrop shaped spots
Scientists have found that pollution in the air from the burning of fossil fuels is the
main cause of acid rain. The major chemicals in air that help to create acid rain are sulfur
dioxide, known as (SO2), and nitrogen oxides, known as (NOx). Acid rain is formed high
in the clouds where sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water, oxygen, and
oxidants. This lethal mixture creates a mild solution of sulfuric acid and nitric acid.
Sunlight often increases the speed at which the reaction occur. Rainwater, snow, fog, and
other forms of precipitation containing these new solutions of sulfuric and nitric acids fall
to earth as acid rain. Acid rain does not make up all of the acidity that falls back to earth
from pollutants. Only half of the acidity in the air falls back to earth through dry
deposition as gases …

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