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Acid deposition is the depositing of sulfuric or nitric acid in the environment through snow, dry sediment, and most commonly rainfall.
Sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, which are emissions from fossil fuel fired power plants and automobiles.
FAQ's about Acid Rain
So..Is It Like the Acid You See in Horror Movies?
Well, not exactly. Its not droplets of PURE acid falling from the sky and killing people, but it can be pretty concentrated. The most threatened areas have been found to be the eastern United States, Canada, and northern Europe.
What Constitutes as Acid Rain?
The acidity of acid rain is expressed by the pH scale. The scale normally goes from 0 being the most acidic to 14 being the most basic. Pure water is at the very middle with a pH of 7.0. With acid rain, the normal range drops to anything below 6.0 and 7.0, sometimes even into the 4.0 range (which is 10 to 40 times more acidic than pure rain). this is why acid rain is a big deal. At 4.0 ranges, the environment could start going through drastic changes.
Do You Know How It's Caused?
Rain obviously comes from the sky but from a great distance away. On its way to earth, it must pass through the atmosphere which is polluted by sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides that react together. This in turn leads to acid precipitation, or sulfuric acid and nitric acid. The two of these compounds together is what causes such high pH levels in the rain.
How Much Damage Can This Stuff Do?
One of the most damaging things acid rain does is wipes out native fish populations in streams and rivers. Fish are especially sensitive to changes in pH and can have a mass decline when faced with acid rain. Not only animal species but also plant species as well can be affected. Crops are affected by suppressing the bacterial decomposition of organic matter and by leaching nutrients such as calcium and magnesium from soil. Forests in Europe died off due to the acidity in the soil as well. Statues and other monuments made of limestone and sandstone will go through a very fast erosion period because of the chemicals there being exposed to. In some cases, people will be warned to stay indoors during very acidic rainfalls and also to keep pets protected. Overall, acid rain is one force of nature that we created and will have to contend with as long as we keep polluting the air.
--Kellygreen06 13:56, 5 October 2007 (PDT)