However, acid rain is certainly not a new phenomenon brought on by modern industrialization as all rainfall has a certain amount of natural acidity. It is just that pollutants released from industrialization increases this acidity a thousand fold! And don't think it's just rain you need to worry about as acidity can also be present - and be just as damaging - in snow hail, cloud, fog, mist and even air borne dust!

What causes acid rain? 

Approximately 300 million years ago, huge areas of the Earth were forested. Over time, tress came to the end of their natural life and died. Where they fell, they were gradually transformed into seams of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

 Today we mine and burn fossil fuels in enormous quantities to generate electricity, heat our homes and power our factories. Unfortunately, burning fossil fuels releases releases huge amounts of pollutants - notably sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons - into the atmosphere.

Once they are in the atmosphere, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and the hydrocarbons react with sunlight to produce a selection of secondary pollutants such as ozone.

These secondary pollutants react with the sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide to form sulphuric-acid and nitric acid in the tiny droplets of water that go to make up our clouds. In this form the acids are carried on the wind to fall as 'acid rain' , often great distances away. Today, in spite of growing environmental awareness all around the world - and so is the damage caused by acid rain., large scale industrialization is still increasing.

The damage caused by acid rain

Over 1,000,000 square kilometres of Europe's forests have suffered the effects of acid rain, with conifers being damaged the most. The sulphur dioxide from burning fossil fuels may damage and kill many trees, but this is compounded as acid rain reacts with vital plant nutrients, preventing their uptake through root systems.

Even slight damage to a mature tree caused by pollution can be enough to kill it because it reduces the trees frost hardiness and its resistance to fungal and pest attack.

American studies have indicated that even where forests are showing none of the easily visible external signs of acid rain damage, pollution is nevertheless limiting their growth.

For related articles click onto:
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Easter Island - a Lesson in Environmental Exploitation
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How do you get Acid Rain?
Jellyfish Swarms - The Latest Man-Made disaster?
What is Light Pollution?
Light Pollution and the Decline in Bat Populations
Light Pollution and the Decline of Native Insects
Light Pollution - The Hidden Threat
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The Causes of Acid Rain
The Effects of Acid Rain
The Layers of the Rainforest
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What are Prunes?
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What causes Global Warming?
What is Acid Rain?
What is Easter Island?
What is global warming?
What is the Difference between Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect?
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What is a Prune?
What is the Most Poisonous Snake in India?
What is Slash and Burn?
What is 'Slash and Burn' Farming and How does it Affect the Rainforests?
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Based on an article by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainforest
Photo care of http://article.wn.com/view/2009/02/13/Government_to_tap_Brazils_agriculture_expertise/  and
Images care of http://aml0839.edu.glogster.com/environmental-effects/ and http://conservationreport.com/2010/06/21/acid-rain-is-increasing/

1 comment:

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