Water And Oceanography

How Humanity can Start to Eliminate Acid Rain



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All rain is acidic because it binds with carbon dioxide, but acid rain is caused by pollutants in the form of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which combine with oxygen to create sulfuric and nitric acid. The sulfur dioxide tends to come from coal burning plants and industrial smelters. Nitrogen oxide comes primarily from car exhausts and occasionally from lightening and other natural sources.

The problems caused by acid rain include damage to buildings and monuments. It also draws Mercury out of the soil which may end up running off into streams and rivers. The mercury can end up in fish where it is concentrated and causes a health hazard for humans. Those with respiratory difficulties maybe be rather directly affected by acid rain. Trees and other plants as well as small animals and insects can be adversely affected by acid rain as can ground water.

The only solution is to reduce the amount of these pollutants entering the air. One of the easiest things to do is to conserve our energy. That means driving less and/or using a more gas efficient car, a hybrid, or electric car. It means more car pooling and use of public transportation. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce industrial waste by better filtration systems.

Alternate sources of energy are being more seriously looked into now because of the seriousness of the problem and the coming scarcity of oil. Some of those alternate sources of power are wind power (windmills), water power (dams with turbines), solar power (both passive and solar cell technology), and geothermal (natural fissures in the earth that release steam).

It is clear that the problem of acid rain and the other consequences of burning fossil fuel and other pollutants must be addressed by all of us. The consequences are not just related to nature but to our own survival.

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