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    What is Acid Rain?

    Introduction to acid rain including its causes and the different types of acid rain.

    What is Acid Rain?

    Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms.  This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.

    What Causes Acid Rain?

    This image illustrates the pathway for acid rain in our environment: (1) Emissions of SO2 and NOx are released into the air, where (2) the pollutants are transformed into acid particles that may be transported long distances. (3) These acid particles then fall to the earth as wet and dry deposition (dust, rain, snow, etc.) and (4) may cause harmful effects on soil, forests, streams, and lakes.

    Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids.  These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.

    While a small portion of the SO2 and NOX that cause acid rain is from natural sources such as volcanoes, most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels.  The major sources of SO2 and NOX in the atmosphere are:

    Burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity.  Two thirds of SO2 and one fourth of NOX in the atmosphere come from electric power generators.

    Vehicles and heavy equipment.

    Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries.

    Winds can blow SO2 and NOX over long distances and across borders making acid rain a problem for everyone and not just those who live close to these sources.

    Forms of Acid Deposition

    Wet Deposition

    Wet deposition is what we most commonly think of as acid rain. The sulfuric and nitric acids formed in the atmosphere fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail.

    Dry Deposition

    Acidic particles and gases can also deposit from the atmosphere in the absence of moisture as dry deposition. The acidic particles and gases may deposit to surfaces (water bodies, vegetation, buildings) quickly or may react during atmospheric transport to form larger particles that can be harmful to human health. When the accumulated acids are washed off a surface by the next rain, this acidic water flows over and through the ground, and can harm plants and wildlife, such as insects and fish.

    The amount of acidity in the atmosphere that deposits to earth through dry deposition depends on the amount of rainfall an area receives.  For example, in desert areas the ratio of dry to wet deposition is higher than an area that receives several inches of rain each year.

    Measuring Acid Rain

    Acidity and alkalinity are measured using a pH scale for which 7.0 is neutral. The lower a substance's pH (less than 7), the more acidic it is; the higher a substance's pH (greater than 7), the more alkaline it is. Normal rain has a pH of about 5.6; it is slightly acidic because carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolves into it forming weak carbonic acid.  Acid rain usually has a pH between 4.2 and 4.4.

    Policymakers, research scientists, ecologists, and modelers rely on the National Atmospheric Deposition Program’s (NADP) National Trends Network (NTN) for measurements of wet deposition. The NADP/NTN collects acid rain at more than 250 monitoring sites throughout the US, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. Unlike wet deposition, dry deposition is difficult and expensive to measure. Dry deposition estimates for nitrogen and sulfur pollutants are provided by the Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET). Air concentrations are measured by CASTNET at more than 90 locations.

    When acid deposition is washed into lakes and streams, it can cause some to turn acidic. The Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) Network measures and monitors surface water chemistry at over 280 sites to provide valuable information on aquatic ecosystem health and how water bodies respond to changes in acid-causing emissions and acid deposition.

    Next, learn about the Effects of Acid Rain.

    Or, learn more about:

    Acid Rain Clean Air Markets

    Clean Air Status and Trends Network (CASTNET)

    National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP)

    Long-Term Monitoring (LTM) Network

    स्रोत : www.epa.gov

    What do you call the rain that contains chemical waste and causes of damage to plants and animals?

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    What do you call the rain that contains chemical waste and causes of damage to plants and animals?




    Acid rain


    Monsoon rain


    Seasonal rain

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    Updated on : 2022-09-05

    Solution Verified by Toppr

    Correct option is B)

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    What do you call the rain that contains chemical waste and

    What do you call the rain that contains chemical waste and cause damage to plants and animals? a) Smog b) Acid rain c) Monsoon rain d) Seasonal rain


    What do you call the rain that contains chemical waste and cause damage to plants and animals?

    A. Smog B. Acid rain C. Monsoon rain D. Seasonal rain

    Answer: Option B

    Solution(By Examveda Team)

    The sulphur oxides (combination of sulphur and oxygen) react with the water vapour in the air to form very strong acids like sulphuric acid (h2so4). these acids fall along with the rain and hence the name acid rain. this rain is very harmful for plant and animal life.

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