Effects of Acid Rain
The acids in acid rain react chemically with any object they contact. Acids are corrosive chemicals that react with other chemicals by giving up hydrogen atoms. The acidity of a substance comes from the abundance of free hydrogen atoms when the substance is dissolved in water. Acidity is measured using a pH scale with units from 0 to 14. Acidic substances have pH numbers from 1 to 6—the lower the pH number, the stronger, or more corrosive, the substance. Some non-acidic substances, called bases or alkalis, are like acids in reverse—they readily accept the hydrogen atoms that the acids offer. Bases have pH numbers from 8 to 14, with the higher values indicating increased alkalinity. Pure water has a neutral pH of 7—it is not acidic or basic. Rain, snow, or fog with a pH below 5.6 is considered acid rain.
When bases mix with acids, the bases lessen the strength of an acid. This buffering action regularly occurs in nature. Rain, snow, and fog formed in regions free of acid pollutants are slightly acidic, having a pH near 5.6. Alkaline chemicals in the environment, found in rocks, soils, lakes, and streams, regularly neutralize this precipitation. But when precipitation is highly acidic, with a pH below 5.6, naturally occurring acid buffers become depleted over time, and nature’s ability to neutralize the acids is impaired. Acid rain has been linked to widespread environmental damage, including soil and plant degradation, depleted life in lakes and streams, and erosion of human-made structures.
- Effects of Acid Rain on Surface Waters (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
- Effects of Acid Rain on the Soil (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
- Effects of Acid Rain on Agriculture (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
- Effects of Acid Rain on Human Health (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
- Effects of Acid Rain on Plants and Animals (egrejeen.wordpress.com)
- Effects of Acid Rain on Human-Made Structures (egrejeen.wordpress.com)