Essay about What Makes Acid Rain?

1189 Words Oct 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
What is acid rain?
Acid rain is a form of deposition in which chemicals with an acidic pH level are taken out of the atmosphere through precipitation. When we pollute the air by burning fossil fuels, we create different chemicals that end up in our atmosphere. A few of these have chemical reactions with the water in clouds, and form (depending on the chemical) sulfurous and nitrous acids. When it rains, this acid is taken back to the ground.

While pure water has a neutral pH level of 7, even unpolluted water will have an acidic pH level of 5.6 due to CO2, NO, and SO4 naturally being present in the lowest layer of our atmosphere. However, the majority of acids that end up in our atmosphere are from human activity. We measure the acidity of rain by taking water samples, and doing a lab using indicators to find the pH. Acid rain is considered dangerous whenever we have a pH of below the regular acidity, so anywhere less than pH 5.6.

We can reduce chemicals causing acid rain from reaching the atmosphere by cutting back on the production of them. Already, there are laws in place such as the 1990 Clean Air act and stricter vehicle emissions policies. Industries can use better air filters to reduce the acid causing chemicals that get released. As individuals, we can reduce emissions by cutting back on electricity and fuel burning transportation.
Nitrous Acid Rain

Nitrogen is produced in agriculture, industry, and is emitted from some vehicles. Once released into the air,…

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