Acid Rain Essay

3102 Words 13 Pages
Register to read the introduction… Burning of fossil fuels causes sulphur dioxide and nitrogen, which happens to be the major causes of acid rain. These gases are emitted into the atmosphere where they are absorbed by the moisture and become weak sulphuric and nitric acids, with a pH of around three. Natural gas contains little or no sulphur and does not cause much pollution.


Sulphur dioxide is produced by coal fired power stations. Vehicles, especially cars, are the major producers of the nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere. Some oxides come from the vehicle exhaust alone, but others form when the exhaust gases react with the air.
Exhaust gases also react with strong sunlight to produce poisonous ozone gas that damages plant growth and in some cases, human health.
Sulphur is one of the chemical elements that make up the earth. It can come from volcanic eruptions, sea spray, and tiny sea creatures called plankton. In the world as a whole almost 50 percent of sulphur dioxide in the air comes from natural sources of sulphur, like the ones previously mentioned.

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They dropped by 16.5 percent from 1980 to 1992.

· At the four CAPMoN sites located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, have recorded significant decreases of 28 to 40 percent in precipitation sulphate (See Fig.1, Fig.2, Fig.3). A decrease of 25 percent has occurred at site in Labrador. No significant trends in hydrogen ion concentration were detected.

Spatial Trends

· Since the late 1970's the federal and provincial governments have been monitoring acid rain in the Atlantic provinces. The National Atmospheric Chemistry Data Base, which is maintained by Environment Canada, stored most of the data collected. The data which met the quality criteria of the Unified Deposition Data Base Committee was used to conduct annual maps of precipitation-weighed average sulphate deposition in the Atlantic provinces from 1980 to 1993.

· The deposition of acidifying sulfate has decreased since the 1980's, when most of the region received sulfate deposition greater than 12 kilograms per hectare a year. In recent years, most of the region has received less than 12 kilograms per hectare a year.

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