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What is Acid Rain?

Acid rain is a result of air pollution. When

any type of fuel is burnt, lots of different
chemicals are produced. The smoke that
comes from a fire or the fumes that come
out of a car exhaust don't just contain the
sooty grey particles that you can see - they
also contains lots of invisible gases that can
be even more harmful to our environment.

What is Acid Rain?

Power stations, factories and cars all burn

fuels and therefore they all produce
polluting gases. Some of these gases
(especially nitrogen oxides and sulphur
dioxide) react with the tiny droplets of water
in clouds to form sulphuric and nitric acids.
The rain from these clouds then falls as very
weak acid - which is why it is known as
"acid rain".

Measuring Acid Rain

The pH (Hydrogen potential) scale is used to

measure the acidity or alkalinity of an
aqueous solution and is determined by the
hydrogen ion content (H+). This scale was
invented by a Danish scientist called
Sorenson in 1909.
The pH scale ranges from 0, which is
strongly acid, to 14 which is strongly
alkaline, the scale point 7 being neutral.
Acidity is measured using a scale called the
pH scale. This scale goes from 0 to 14. 0 is
the most acidic and 14 is the most alkaline
(opposite of acidic). Something with a pH
value of 7, we call neutral, this means that
it is neither acidic nor alkaline.

Rain is always
slightly acidic
because it mixes
with naturally
occurring oxides in
the air. Unpolluted
rain would have a
pH value of
between 5 and 6.
When the air
becomes more
polluted with
nitrogen oxides and
Sulphur dioxide the
acidityc to a pH
value of 4. Some

Consequences of Acid Rain

Acid rain has a lot of harmful effects on

ecosystems and materials. By increasing the
acidity of the waters of rivers and lakes, it
produces major disruptions in aquatic life.
Some species of plants and animals can
adapt to new conditions to survive in water
acidity, but not others.
Shrimp, snails and mussels are the species
most affected by water acidification. This also
has negative effects on fish such as salmon
and trout.
The eggs and fry are most affected.
Increased acidity in the water can cause
deformations in young fish and can prevent

Consequences of Acid Rain

Acid rain also increases the acidity of the

soil, and this causes changes in the
composition thereof, producing leaching
important plant nutrients and infiltrating
toxic, such as cadmium, nickel, manganese
metal, lead, mercury, which thus also
introduces streams.
Vegetation is not only the consequences of
soil degradation, but also a direct contact
damage that can potentially cause death in
some cases the species.
Historic buildings, which were made of
limestone, also experience the effects of
acid rain. The stone upon contact with the
acid rain reacts and transforms into gypsum.
Also metallic materials corrode at a much
faster speed.

How we react to this?

These are measures that can be

taken to prevent acid rain.
Reduce the maximum sulfur
content in different fuels
Produce the closure of
Promote the use of natural gas
in various industries
The conversion to gas in
commercial vehicles business
and government
Extension of electric transport
Installation of control
equipment in different
Do not add many chemicals on
Addiction of an alkaline
compound in lakes and rivers


Saldarriaga Silva Logan

Teacher: Mariano Calero Merino
Course: Elementary English
C.U. 1942015063