THE DEPOSITION OF ACIDIC COMPONENTS IN WET FORMS SUCH AS FOG, SNOW, OR HAIL AND DRY FORMS SUCH AS ACIDIC PARTICLES FROM THE ATMOSPHERE IS CALLED ACID RAIN
- Acid rain results when already present sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to make sulphuric and nitric acids.
- While a small part of acid rain is added from natural sources like volcanoes and most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels.
Forms of Acid Deposition
- Wet deposition is usually considered acid precipitation.
- The sulphuric and nitric acids descend with rain, snow, fog, or hail.
- When acid particles deposit in the absence of moisture we called this dry deposition.
- The acidic particles accumulated on the surfaces react during atmospheric transport and make larger particles that are harmful to human well-being.
- These particles get washed off by second rain and flow through the ground harming the plants, vegetation, wildlife like fishes
MEASURING ACID RAIN
pH range of acid rain = 4.2 and 4.4
EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN ON HUMAN COMMUNITIES AND AGRICULTURE
- It causes respiratory issues in living beings.
- When fine sulfate and nitrate particles come in contact with humans or are inhaled by them then these effects the heart function as well as lung function resulting in death for people with increased heart disease risk and causing breathing difficulties for people with asthma.
- Acid precipitation is extremely damaging to agriculture, and plants. It completely washes off the required nutrients for the development and survival of plant species.
- Acid rain alters the composition of the soil and consequently affects agriculture.
- When acid precipitation goes into the rivers and ponds it affects the aquatic ecosystem, by altering the chemical balance of the water, to a form that is damaging to the aquatic ecosystem and causes H2O pollution.
- Acid precipitation also leads to the corrosion of water pipes. This moreover leads to the leaching of heavy metals like iron, lead, and copper into the water.
- It degrades the structures and monuments built from stones and metals.
- Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders, is largely affected by acid precipitation. Reason: the presence of industries, in Agra, which emits oxides of sulfur and nitrogen in the atmosphere
- The Statue of Liberty is made of copper and has been degraded by the collective effect of acid rain & oxidation for the past 30 years and is, hence, becoming green.