Acid rain biology science forums

Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation that contains acidic components, such as sulfuric acid or nitric acid, according to the Environmental Protection Agency EPA. The precipitation is not necessarily wet or liquid; the definition includes dust, gasses, rain, snow, fog and hail. The type of acid rain that contains water is called wet deposition.

Acid rain formed with dust or gasses is called dry deposition. The term acid rain was coined in by Scottish chemist Robert Angus Smithaccording to the Royal Society of Chemistry, which calls him the "father of acid rain. In the s, scientists in the United States started studying the phenomenon, and in the s and early s, acid rain became recognized as a regional environmental issue that affected Western Europe and eastern North America.

Though manmade pollutants are currently affecting most acidic precipitation, natural disasters can be a factor as well. For example, volcanoes can cause acid rain by blasting pollutants into the air. These pollutants can be carried around the world in jet streams and turned into acid rain far from the volcano. After an asteroid supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs When it hit the air, it turned into sulfuric acid, generating a downpour of acid rainaccording to a paper published in in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Even before that, over 4 billion years ago, it is suspected that the air may have had 10, times as much carbon dioxide as today.

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Geologists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison backed up this theory be studying rocks and publishing the results in a issue of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. That is a condition that will dissolve rocks," said study team member John Valley.

Sulfur dioxide SO 2 and nitrogen oxides NOx released into the air by fossil-fuel power plants, vehicles and oil refineries are the biggest cause of acid rain today, according to the EPA. Two thirds of sulfur dioxide and one fourth of nitrogen oxide found in the atmosphere come from electric power generators. A chemical reaction happens when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides mix with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the air. They then become sulfuric and nitric acids that mix with precipitation and fall to the ground.

Acid Rain: Causes, Effects and Solutions

Precipitation is considered acidic when its pH level is about 5. The normal pH of rain is around 5. Acid rain affects nearly everything. Plants, soil, trees, buildings and even statues can be transformed by the precipitation.

Acid rain has been found to be very hard on trees. It weakens them by washing away the protective film on leaves, and it stunts growth. A paper released in the online version of the journal of Environmental Science and Technology in showed evidence of acid rain stunting tree growth.

Geological Survey scientist who headed the effort. Acid rain can also change the composition of soil and bodies of water, making them uninhabitable for local animals and plants. For example, healthy lakes have a pH of 6.These metrics are regularly updated to reflect usage leading up to the last few days. Citations are the number of other articles citing this article, calculated by Crossref and updated daily. Find more information about Crossref citation counts.

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A series of reactions that can be carried out to demonstrate the effects of acid rain. Cite this: J. Article Views Altmetric.

Citations 6. Abstract A series of reactions that can be carried out to demonstrate the effects of acid rain. Cited By. This article is cited by 6 publications.

Kevin L. Campbell, Emily A. Wright, Mardhia O. Dayisi, Michael R. Hoehn, Branden F. Kennedy, and Brian M.

Journal of Chemical Education88 4 SchillingPhyllis A.

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Leber and Claude H. Journal of Chemical Education86 2 Journal of Chemical Education80 1 Acid rain demonstration: The formation of nitrogen oxides as a by-product of high-temperature flames in connection with internal combustion engines. Journal of Chemical Education74 12 Journal of Fisheries and Marine Sciences Education27 6 Pair your accounts.

Your Mendeley pairing has expired. Please reconnect.A research paper on acid rain. After reading this you will learn about: 1. Meaning of Acid Rain 2. Sources of Acidic Pollutants 3.

Measuring Acidity 4. Effects 5. Control Strategy 6.

What You Need to Know About Acid Rain

Legislative Control. Research Paper 1. Acid rain is a widespread term used to describe all forms of acid precipitation rain, snow, hail and fog. Atmospheric pollutants, particularly oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, can cause precipitation to become more acidic when converted to sulphuric and nitric acids, hence the term acid rain.

The term acid rain was first used by Robert Angus Smith, a scientist working in Manchester in the s.

acid rain biology science forums

The problem of acid rain is hence not a new one but the nature of the problem has changed from being a local problem for towns and cities to being an international problem. Research Paper 2. Sources of Acidic Pollutants: Precipitation is naturally acidic because of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels coal, oil and gas produces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides which can increase the acidity of ram or other precipitation. Sources of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen may be natural such as volcanoes, oceans, biological decay and forest fires, or may arise from combustion sources.

The increasing demand for electricity and the rise in the number of motor vehicles in recent decades has meant that emissions of acidifying pollutants have increased dramatically from human sources, particularly since the s.

As a result, precipitation is generally acidic in these countries. Acid rain became an international concern. Research Paper 3. This scale was invented by a Danish scientist called Sorenson in The pH scale is logarithmic rather than linear Fig. Rainfall acidity is measured in pH units. To convert the pH values to hydrogen ions, the following formula applies:. The hydrogen ion content of a number of pH values are given in the following table and are illustrated on Fig.

This is slightly acidic due to the presence of carbon dioxide in die atmosphere winch forms weak carbonic acid in water. The rainwater pH for the example given above pH 4. Research Paper 4. Effects of Acid Rain: Acid rain produces complex problems and their effects are:.

Due to acid rain many water bodies in Germany and other European countries have a pH of less than 5. This acidity level is considered to be lethal for many fish species.

Acid Rain Science Fair Projects

Acidic water can also leach aluminium from the soil and carry this dissolved aluminium to lakes and streams. As the pH decreases, the previously insoluble aluminium goes into solution. This dissolved aluminium clogs the gills of fish and deprives them of oxygen. It has low levels of phytoplankton. Some insects like dragon fly larvae, water boatman etc. Aquatic plants broad-leafed pondweeds etc.

Bacteria and other microscopic animals are also reduced.Acid rain is made up of water droplets that are unusually acidic because of atmospheric pollution, most notably the excessive amounts of sulfur and nitrogen released by cars and industrial processes. Acid rain is also called acid deposition because this term includes other forms of acidic precipitation such as snow.

Acidic deposition occurs in two ways: wet and dry. Dry deposition polluting particles and gases stick to the ground via dust and smoke in the absence of precipitation. Even though dry, this form of deposition is dangerous as well, because precipitation can eventually wash pollutants into streams, lakes, and rivers. Acidity itself is determined based on the pH level the amount of acidity or alkalinity of the water droplets.

acid rain biology science forums

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with a lower pH being more acidic, while a high pH is alkaline, and seven is neutral. Normal rainwater is slightly acidic, with a pH range of 5.

acid rain biology science forums

Acid deposition is anything below that range. It is also important to note that the pH scale is logarithmic, and each whole number on the scale represents a fold change. Today, acid deposition is present in the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and much of Europe, including portions of Sweden, Norway, and Germany.

In addition, parts of South Asia particularly China, Sri Lanka, and southern India and South Africa are all in danger of being affected by acid deposition in the future. Acid deposition can be caused by natural sources such as volcanoesbut it is mainly caused by the release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide during fossil fuel combustion. When these gases are discharged into the atmosphere, they react with the water, oxygen, and other gases already present there to form sulfuric acid, ammonium nitrate, and nitric acid.

These acids then disperse over large areas because of wind patterns and fall back to the ground as acid rain or other forms of precipitation. As such, man-made acid deposition began becoming a significant issue during the Industrial Revolution and was first discovered by a Scottish chemist Robert Angus Smith in In that year, he discovered the relationship between acid rain and atmospheric pollution in Manchester, England.

Although it was discovered in the s, acid deposition did not gain significant public attention until the s, and the term "acid rain" was coined in Public attention further increased in the s when the "New York Times" published reports about problems occurring in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire.

Aquatic settings are the most clearly affected by acid deposition, however, because acidic precipitation falls directly into them.

Both dry and wet deposition also runs off from forests, fields, and roads and flows into lakes, rivers, and streams. As this acidic liquid flows into larger bodies of water, it is diluted.

Howvever, over time, acids can accrue and lower the overall pH of the body of water. Acid deposition also causes clay soils to release aluminum and magnesiumfurther lowering the pH in some areas.

If the pH of a lake drops below 4. It is estimated that around 50, lakes in the United States and Canada have a pH below normal about 5. Several hundred of these have a pH too low to support any aquatic life. Aside from aquatic bodies, acid deposition can significantly affect forests. As acid rain falls on trees, it can make them lose their leaves, damage their bark, and stunt their growth.

By damaging these parts of the tree, it makes them vulnerable to disease, extreme weather, and insects.

Trees at high altitudes are also susceptible to problems induced by acidic cloud cover as the moisture in the clouds blankets them.

What is Acid Rain? - National Geographic

Damage to forests by acid rain is seen all over the world, but the most advanced cases are in Eastern Europe.Science Explorer. Multimedia Gallery. Park Passes. Technical Announcements. Employees in the News. Emergency Management. Survey Manual. The USGS has been at the forefront of studying the impacts of acid rain for decades. How does acid rain form?

What does it do to the landscape? Can it burn you like battery acid? Keep reading to find out more Acid rain is the term commonly used by scientists to describe rain that is abnormally acidic. What does that mean? Well, plain distilled water, like that used in laboratories, is neutral not acidic or basic. Since rain naturally has things dissolved in it, it will always be slightly acidic.

However, when rain reacts with certain air pollutants, such as sulfur or nitrogen oxides, the water vapor converts into very diluted forms of sulfuric or nitric acids. The main sources of pollutants that trigger acid rain are vehicles and industrial and power-generating plants. This pattern of high acidity is caused by the large number of cities, the dense population, and the concentration of power and industrial plants in the Northeast.

In addition, the prevailing wind direction brings storms and pollution to the Northeast from the Midwest. Acid rain doesn't look any different then regular rain, however the effect it has on the landscape is considerably different. Credit: Pixabay. Public domain.

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Acid rain also removes important nutrients from the soil, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The lack of nutrients can negatively affect the health of plants and animals. Scientists from many disciplines study acid rain and its impact. The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program NAPAPa Federal program involving representatives from more than a dozen Federal agencies, has sponsored studies on how acid rain forms and how it affects lakes, crops, forests, and materials.

Because buildings and monuments cannot adapt to changes in the environment, as plants and animals can, historic structures may be particularly affected by acid precipitation. Scientists are studying effective control technologies to limit the emissions from power plants and automobiles that cause acid rain.

The impact and usefulness of regulations that would require limits on air pollution are also being studied. Finally, scientists are examining the processes of deterioration to find effective ways to protect and repair our historic buildings and monuments.

Agencies like the National Park Service, which are charged with protecting and preserving our national heritage, are particularly concerned not only about the impact of acid rain but also about making the best choices for maintaining and preserving our historic buildings and monuments. The USGS investigates the chemistry, source, fate, and transport of airborne pollutants and their affect on the landscape.By NastehaApril 21, in Ecology and the Environment.

Are there ways to reduce Acid Rain? Yes, in fact there were many programs initiated to reduce Acid Rain. One of them being Title IV. This program was passed to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide SO2 and nitrogen oxides NOx from power plants that are fossil fuel-fired. It is a great way to prevent acid rain. It also costs less than half of the estimated cost inwhich portrays that they are becoming more efficient.

While researching this topic, I learned how acid rain can affect us. In the article, Lauraine G. Conserving energy is something that anyone can do. Also you can carpool or take public transportation, such as buses and trains because that will cut down on air pollution from cars. The exhaust of modern diesel engines is cleaner than the intake air thanks to design modifications such as exhaust gas recirculation and diesel exhaust fluid utilization.

Ultra low sulpher fuel is the only legal fuel in use today. Unfortunately the amount of SO2 belched into the atmosphere by volcanic eruptions cannot be as well regulated. Alkaline rain has not been mentioned as a possible threat to my knowledge. So far, attempts towards the elimination of sulfer and nitrogen oxides seem to be safe and effective, albeit not without costs. Today's diesel fuel prices in North America are routinely greater than those of unleaded gasoline in a reversal of the price pattern observed prior to current regulations.

Of course costs of the acid precipitation were reduced, the whole point of the exercise to begin with. You need to be a member in order to leave a comment. Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

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Research Paper on Acid Rain

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