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Acid Rain Rundown

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One of the most prevalent and harmful effects of air pollution is acid rain. Acid rain is the formation of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere. These compounds react with water and other chemicals to create sulfuric and nitric acids. Acid rain is mainly caused by the pollution of industries, vehicles and manufacturers but there are natural causes for acid rain that are not as severe. Acid rain greatly affects bodies of water and their surrounding habitats. Acid rain will drain the calcium from the soil and nutrients from plants, trees and other vegetation. For trees specifically, acid rain affects not only the nutrients in the soil around it, but also the leaves. For example, Conifers, also known as pine trees, when affected by acid rain, lose the protective coating around their needles which makes them more susceptible to harsh climates and snow damage. When the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides enter the atmosphere, they react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to create sulfuric and nitric acids. Shown in the equations on screen, nitrogen oxide reacts with oxygen in the air to create nitrogen dioxide, which then reacts with water to produce nitric acid and nitrogen oxide which continues the cycle. Sulfur dioxide, the more harmful and prevalent of the two, reacts with oxygen to make sulfur trioxide. The sulfuric trioxide in the air then reacts with H2O to produce sulfuric acid. The acidity of rainwater increases, dropping the pH level from a natural 5.6 to 4.3 due to excess amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide polluting the atmosphere. Once the acids are created, the particles are transported via air currents from which the acidic particles can return back to earth by means of snow, rain or dry particles. These can cause serious harm to habitats, vegetation and buildings. After witnessing the harmful effects of acid rain, the United States passed the Clean Air Act to lower the rate of fossil fuel emissions. It regulated air pollution and introduced new standards on pollutants to decrease the emissions of sulfuric and nitric acids. However even after 40 years of recovery, the lands affected by acid rain are still in danger due to the low levels of calcium that usually would act as a buffer in the soil to fight against the consequences of acid rain.

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 10 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 0
Posted by: sjc3352 on Dec 5, 2018

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