Acid Rain Essay

776 Words4 Pages
Technical Reporting Process Description The Process of Acid Rain Acid Rain is precipitation with high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. Natural causes can cause acid rain but most acid rain is caused by humans. Acid rain has many environmental effects but the most concerning is its impact on wetlands, streams, lakes and other aquatic environments. It is important to understand the process of acid rain because of its effects to wildlife, plants, and health to humans. The process of acid rain includes: natural or man-made sources, gases and particles in the atmosphere, dry deposition and wet deposition. Sources Rain water that has been contaminated with chemicals introduced into the atmosphere is acid rain. There are two sources that release chemicals into the air causing acid rain. One source is natural cause such as rotting vegetation and erupting volcanoes. The other source is man-made activities. Man-made activities include: emissions from electric utilities burning fossil fuels, such as coal-burning fossil fuels, automobiles, and factories ("Acid Rain." National Geographic). In the United States, roughly two-thirds of all sulfur dioxide and one-fourth of all nitrogen oxides come from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels, like coal (“What Is Acid Rain?"). Acid Rain Components and pH Acid rain is formed by the combination of rain water with certain components such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxides, and other chemicals. Acid rain is measured using a scale called “pH.” The lower a substance's pH, the more acidic it is. Pure water has a pH of 7.0. However, normal rain is slightly acidic because carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves into it forming weak carbonic acid, giving the resulting mixture a pH of approximately 5.6 at typical atmospheric concentrations of CO2. As of 2000, the most acidic rain falling in
Open Document