the acid rain.

I have another part on my research which is “What can be done
to solve this problem? And how to reduce the effects? or strategies to get rid the acid rain.” so the whole paper should be 8 pages not including the title page and the references.
causes_and_effects_of_acid_rain.docx

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Running head: CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
Causes And Effects Of Acid Rain
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CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
2
Causes And Effects Of Acid Rain
Acid rain results from chemicals coming from the atmosphere and contains more than the
standard level of sulfuric and nitric acids. Usually, the PH level of water is 5.3 to 6 due to the
presence of carbonic acids; however, when nitric and sulfuric compounds are present in these
water, the PH falls below this range thus rain becomes acidic. Primarily, when nitrogen oxides
and sulfuric oxide reacts with oxygen in the presence of water molecules, chemical compounds
such as nitric acid and sulfuric acid are formed in the rain. Importantly, acid rain has a
detrimental effect both on human and environment since it cause corrosion of building, killing
aquatic organisms and reducing soil activities. Both human-made and natural sources play
significant roles in the production of acidic rains (Berner and Elizabeth, 2013). Significantly, the
formation of acidic rain is caused substantially by the combustion of fossil fuels since it emits
nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. Therefore, this paper discusses both the natural and human
factors that contribute to the formation of acid rain and the facts of these rain to the ecosystem.
The primary natural causative agent in the formation of acidic rain are emissions from
volcanoes. Volcanoes emit acidic gases which result in the creation of rain or precipitates such
as snow and fog that contain a high level of acid to such an extent that it affects the vegetation
cover and the health of animals. Additionally, biological processes such as decomposition of
vegetation create acidic rain forming gases. For instance, dimethyl sulfide which is produced
due to biological process such as decay is the most significant contributor of sulfuric elements
present in acidic rains (Berner and Elizabeth, 2013). Moreover, strike from lighting also results
in the production of nitric oxide which reacts with water present in the atmosphere and produces
nitric acid through the electrical process, thus forming acidic rain.
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
3
Activities by humans which result in the formation of chemical gases such as nitrogen
and sulfur are critical contributors to the production of acidic rain (Lal, 2016). These human
activities include sources of air pollution producing gases such as nitrogen and sulfur like
industries, generation of power, and automobiles. Mainly, generation of power using coal is the
most significant contributor to gaseous emissions that lead to acid rain formation. Industries and
motors, on the other hand, release high levels of gases into the atmosphere, mostly in urban
settings and region with high traffics (Lal, 2016). Theses emitted gases react with the oxygen,
water, and another chemical in the atmosphere forming compounds such as nitric acid, sulfuric
acid, and ammonium nitrate hence these regions have a high level of acid rain.
Interestingly, these compounds may be blown by wind over a wide area, and when they
fall to the ground, they form acid rain or other types of acidic precipitates. When they reach the
earth, they flow across the surface, absorbed into the ground and later find themselves into lake
and rivers and finally into seas waters (Lal, 2016). But acid rain forming gases such as nitrogen
oxides and sulfur dioxide are mostly produced in electricity generation plants through the
burning of coal.
Acid rain has numerous detrimental effects on the environment and the health of the
public. Importantly, it affects the aquatic environment when it falls directly to an aquatic
organism or gets off the ground into streams lakes and rivers over a period by increasing the PH
level of the water body. Primarily, living organisms in the water bodies can thrive well at PH
concentration of about 4.8 to survive. Thence, when the PH level falls beyond 4.8, the
environment becomes unconducive for the survival of aquatic lives (Lv et al., 2014). Moreover,
at PH below five, fish eggs cannot hatch. Also, this acid level will even kill fish. As a result acid
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
4
rain negatively affects biodiversity and this has resulted in the elimination of various organism
from the aquatic environment.
Acid rain also affects soil and forests by making trees susceptible to diseases insect and
extreme conditions. Acidic rains destroy leaves and damage the back of tree which in turn inhibit
the growth of trees. Damage to forests due to acidic rain is more pronounced in Poland,
Germany and Switzerland than in other parts of the world. Acid rain has a higher impact on soil
biology and chemistry (Lv et al., 2014). This implies that biological activities, soil microbes,
and chemical properties of soil such as PH are reversed or damaged by the acid rain.
Significantly, soil requires an optimum PH for biological activities to be productive.
Thus, when acid rain gets into the ground, it will change the soil PH thus damaging the soil
chemical and biological activities. Additionally, soil microbes that cannot survive under these
low PH will die. High soil acidity also denatures the enzymes present in soil bacteria. On the
same, note, hydrogen present in the acid rain leaches critical nutrients and minerals such as
magnesium and calcium (Lv et al., 2014). These detrimental impacts of acid rain on soil have
drastically affected plantation and vegetation covers, and this is evident in high latitude region
since acid fogs usually cover them.
These rain also affects public health. Nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and their derivative
compounds such as nitrates and sulfates, can cause an accident since they diminish visibility.
Interestingly, there is no direct relation between acid rain and human health since the level of
acidity is minute, and can produce little or no harm to human being (Black et al., 2014).
However, gaseous deposits present in the atmosphere such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
5
have serious health complications when inhaled. Moreover, increased acid deposition may cause
heart and lung complications such as asthma and bronchitis.
Furthermore, Acidic rain also affects buildings and architecture. For instance, building
constructed from limestone reacts with the mineral water thus corroding buildings. Eventually,
the building is left weak and prone to decay (Black et al., 2014). Modern structures, aeroplanes,
cars, steel bridges, and pipes are also affected by these rain. Lastly, the acid may result in the
weathering of structures, metal corrosion, and fading of paints on surfaces.
In conclusion, burning of coal is the major contributor to the formation of acid rain.
However, it is worth noting that numerous activities of humans also contribute to the formulation
of acid rain such as emission of toxic fumes by industries and automobiles. Additionally, natural
causes such lightning and volcanic activities play a significant role in the production of these
acid rain. Consequently, acid rains have a detrimental effect both on the environment and living
organism since it destroys biodiversity. Therefore measure should be taken by conservationists
and all the stakeholders to reduce the level of toxic substances emitted due to activities of
humans.
6
CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN
REFERENCE
Berner, Elizabeth K, (2013). Acid Rain and Acid Deposition.
Black, B. A., Lamarque, J. F., Shields, C. A., Elkins-Tanton, L. T., & Kiehl, J. T. (2014). Acid
rain and ozone depletion from pulsed Siberian Traps magmatism. Geology, 42(1), 67-70.
Lal, N. (2016). Effects of Acid Rain on Plant Growth and Development. e-Journal of Science &
Technology, 11(5).
Lv, Y., Wang, C., Jia, Y., Wang, W., Ma, X., Du, J., … & Tian, X. (2014). Effects of sulfuric,
nitric, and mixed acid rain on litter decomposition, soil microbial biomass, and enzyme
activities in subtropical forests of China. Applied soil ecology, 79, 1-9.

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