Acid Rain rain go away! Never come again any other day!
Rain is the main part of our water cycle. It feeds rivers, lakes and streams, which in turn fulfill the needs of all living beings on earth. Now, just imagine rain itself being acidified! What disastrous effects can it have? It will be just like consuming extremely diluted acid! This is what is exactly happening in many parts of the world, especially the developed Rain is naturally slightly acidic as it contains dissolved carbon dioxide. But this does not cause any harm.
How are Acid Rains formed?
Acid rain is formed when along with carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide and other such poisonous gases also get dissolved in the rain in higher proportions. Acid rain has now taken alarming proportions and has become a subject of international concern as acids that fall to the ground in the form of rain are more acidic than lemon juice!
How do Acid Rains occur?
Acid rains occur as a result of air pollution. Air pollution is caused by numerous means; usage of fossil fuels, automobiles, industries, etc. Air pollution results in the accumulation of poisonous gases in the air. Acids get formed when poisonous gases like sulphuric dioxide, nitrogen oxide combine with water vapor. This vapor, when it gets condensed and precipitates, causes acid rain. These acids not only acidify rain, but also snow, fog and mist.
Acid deposition also comes out in the form of dry particles (crystallized acids) which get directly absorbed by water bodies and plants as they take in gases. Both, the wet and the dry types of acidification are equally harmful.
As acid rain is a by-product of air pollution, its effects are most severe at cities and industrial areas. But due to the movement of wind, they can be blown over thousands of kilometers. Acid gases can travel about 500 km a day. So, the acid rain in one state or country can be the effect of pollution in its neighboring state or country!
Acid rain has severe damage effects. They are:
- The chemical balance of the soil is destroyed, which affects the growth of plants. Plants suffer from lack of nutrients and get prone to infection. They may even absorb some of the poisonous chemicals with the water. Even the crops we eat are affected in this way!
- Rain feeds lakes and rivers. So, acid rain acidifies these sources of water, which in turn affects all the animals and plants dependent on these. Aquatic life is the worst affected. So, the water we drink is also acidified!
- Many historical buildings and monuments get corroded due to acid rain. One of them is our Taj Mahal. Acid rain also corrodes metalwork (bridges, railings, etc) and even some types of concrete. So, all the cities and villages will die a slow.
So, what can be done to arrest this devastation?
Quite a few measures can be taken. Such measures include industrial preventive techniques to decrease the emission of toxic pollutants. Sulphur content in the fuel can be reduced before burning it by chemical processing. Lower temperatures can cut down the generation of nitrogen oxides in furnaces. Filters in factory chimneys and automobile exhaust pipes can reduce the discharge of toxins to a great extent. But these techniques are expensive; and the companies and governments, especially of the developing countries, are reluctant to adopt these and are still looking out for cheaper.
While it is for the industries to take these measures, we, in the meantime, can do our own little bit as an individual. Conserving energy by switching off electric appliances when not in use and reducing the number of vehicles on road by preferring public transport are two of the most simple but effective practices which we can adopt to lessen pollution and save our Mighty Eco.
Tags: Acid Rain Effects, Acid Rain Causes, Acid Rains Effect On Plants, Acid Rain's Effect On The Environment, Acid Rains Effect, Acid Rain's Effects On Humans, Acid Rain Effects On Buildings, Acid Rain Effects On Animals, Acid Rain Effects On Soil, Acid Rain Effects On Taj Mahal
Published: July 5th, 2014