Acid Rain Essay & Paragraph
Acid rain is rain, snow, or fog from the atmosphere on Earth that contains an unusual amount of acidic components. Acid rain damages our health, the environment, plants and infrastructure. The following essays and paragraphs, for students, shed light on what acid rain is, what causes it, what is the effect of acid rain on life and environment, and how to prevent it.
Essay on Acid Rain: Causes, Effects & Prevention
Introduction: During the 20th century, the acidity of the air and acid rain have come to be recognized as a leading threat to the stability and quality of the Earth’s environment. Most of this acidity is produced in the industrialized nations of the world. Such countries include the United States, Canada, Japan, and most of the countries of Eastern and Western Europe.
What Causes Acid Rain: When fossil fuels such as coal, gasoline, and fuel oils are burned, they emit oxides of sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen into the air. These oxides mix with air humidity and form sulfuric acid, carbonic acid, and nitric acid. When it rains or snows, these acids are brought to Earth in what is called acid rain.
Effects of Acid Rain: The effects of acid rain can be devastating to many forms of life, including human life. Its effects are most evident in lakes, river currents, and vegetation. Acidity in water kills virtually all life forms. By the early 1990s tens of thousands of lakes had been destroyed by acid rain. The problem has been most severe in Norway, Sweden, and Canada. Still, everybody needs to be concerned about this phenomenon. The threat posed by acid rain is not limited to any geographical area, as the flowing air carries pollutants around the world. Many studies support the conclusion that pollution from coal-fired power plants in the Midwestern United States is the cause of severe acid rain in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Even the destructive effects of acid rain are not limited to the natural environment. Structures made of stone, metal, and cement have also been damaged or destroyed by acid rain. Acid rain has caused signs of erosion in some of the world’s great monuments, including the Cathedral of Europe and the Colosseum of Rome.
How to Measure Acidity: Scientists use what is called the pH factor to measure the acidity or alkalinity of liquid solutions. On a scale from 0 to 14, the number 0 represents the highest level of acid and 14 the most basic or alkaline. A solution of distilled water containing neither acids nor alkalies, or bases, is designated 7, or neutral. If the pH level of rain falls below 5.5, the rain is considered acidic. Rainfalls in the eastern United States and in Western Europe often range from 4.5 to 4.0.
How to Stop Acid Rain: For stopping acid rain, we need to stop air pollution. To this end anti-pollution equipment as burners, filters, and chemical and washing devices may be used. Though the cost of such equipment is great, the cost in damage to the environment and human life is estimated to be much greater because the damage may be irreversible. Although preventative measures are being taken, up to 500,000 lakes in North America have become polluted and more than 4 billion cubic feet (118 million cubic meters) of timber in Europe have been destroyed over the last few decades.
Conclusion: Acid rain can cause us a lot of harm. To prevent acid rain we must stop emission of the oxides of sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen into the air. Major steps by the industrialized nations are required in this regard.
Acid Rain Paragraph, 150 Words
The presence of high levels of acid in rainwater is generally called acid rain. Here acid refers to nitric and sulfuric acids. Harmful chemicals emitted from various mills and cars pollute the air and cause acid rain. Acid rain has a devastating effect on the environment, including animals. Natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions or thunderstorms, can also cause low levels of acid rain. Humans are mainly responsible for acid rain. Combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the Earth’s atmosphere. These two gases combine in the atmosphere to react with water and oxygen, producing sulfuric acid, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid. These acids are spread far and wide by the wind and return to Earth mixed with rain, snow or fog. Everyone concerned should take initiative to prevent acid rain in order to protect our health and natural environment.