There is no denying the fact that pollution is adversely affecting human lives. One of the harmful effects of Air pollution is “Acid Rain”. What Is Acid Rain? It refers to a mixture of wet and dry deposited material, coming from the atmosphere having more than normal amounts of nitric and sulphuric acids. In other words, we can define this as rain, fog, sleet or snow that has been made acidic by pollutants in the air. Its pH ranges from 5.3-6.0.
What are the causes of Acid Rain?
Both natural and man-made causes are responsible for acid rain. One of the most common natural cause of acid rain is volcanic emission. These emissions include acid-producing gases which are responsible for this. Apart from this, decaying vegetation, wildfires and biological processes within the environment also emit out acid rain forming gases.
The emitted gases such as sulphur and nitrogen due to human activities are also considered as the primary contributors to acid rain. Factories, power generations facilities, and automobiles are considered as the main source for the emission of these gases which react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form various acidic compounds which eventually results in acid rain.
Effects of Acid Rain
Acid rain offers significant effect on the environment as well as on public health.
Acid rain offers a great impact on marine life. When the acid rain gets accumulated in water bodies then it lowers down the overall pH level of the water body. The aquatic plants and animals require the pH level of about 4.8 to survive. In case, the pH level falls below 4.8 then the conditions become tough for the survival of aquatic life. Because of the change in the pH of water, some of the species of fishes, insects, and water plants are on the brink of extinction.
Acid rain causes trees to grow more slowly. It dissolves and washes away the nutrients and minerals in the soil which help the trees to grow. Furthermore, it destroys the protective coating of leaves, damaging them and refraining them from being able to photosynthesize properly.
Building & Construction
The elements of nature that are water, wind, ice and snow help in the erosion process of the building material. The acid rain acts as a catalyst and makes this natural process even quicker. It offers the worst impact on the things made from limestone or sandstone. Acid rain also corrodes metals like steel, copper, iron, etc.
If we talk of human life, it is not directly affected by acid rain. The reason for this is that acid rain water is too dilute to cause serious health problems. However, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide gases, cause serious impact on visibility and can cause accidents, leading to injuries and deaths.
What is the possible solution?
Apart from fossil fuels, a wide range of alternative energy sources like wind, geothermal, solar, hydropower, etc are available. Harnessing these energy sources will provide clean energy. The general public should be encouraged to use public transport rather than personalized vehicle in order to limit the usage of fossil fuel. We should contribute significantly to reducing pollution and emission in order to make this planet a better place to live.