Acid Rain

When the thought of acid rain comes to mind, a thought of burning acid falling from the sky and destroying everything in sight, and as weird as this sounds it is not that far from the truth. With the population of the world rising, the need for energy increases. When more energy is needed more sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) are released. When these substances are released into the atmosphere, they can be carried over long distances by winds before returning to earth as acidic rain, snow, fog or dust. When these substances
return to earth as acidic rain, snow, fog, or dust they can cause a lot of problems.
On a pH scale, a substance with a pH of less that 7 is considered an acid. The lower the number is the more acidic a substance is. If a substance has a pH of more that 7 it is call a base. The higher the number the more basic a substance is, the highest being 14. For a
substance with a Ph of 7 it is a neutral substance. Normal rainfall has a pH of 5.6 to 6.5, even though it is slightly acidic it doesn't affect the environment. With the release of more sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) into the atmosphere the pH of rainfall is dropping. The lowest recorded pH of rainwater was in Wheeling, West Virginia in the fall of the year 1978. The rainwater then had a recorded pH of 2.0. To compare with something else, a bottle of lemon juice has a pH of 2.1. (5)
First Documented Account of Acid Rain
Acid rain wasfirst documented in 1852 by Robert Angus Smith around the town of Manchester, England. Smith thought the rusting of metals and the fading of colors was the fault of sulfuric acid in the atmosphere of the city. With the book Smith published in 1872 he noticed that the burning of fossil fuels in Great Britain was the cause of acid rain. Several other scientists around the turn of the century noticed that acid rain was destroying crops and animals. Since then many more scientists have noticed…

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