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Acid Rain Pollution

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name here

Engineering 303i

Professor h

May 3, 2004


Penguin Publishing House, 1987 , Pearce Fred Acid Rain. What is it and

what is it doing to us?

New York Publishers, 1989, William Stone Acid Rain. Fiend or Foe?

Lucent books, Inc. 1990, Steward Gail Acid Rain.

Acid Rain

Acid rain is a great problem in our world. It causes fish and plants to die because earth's rainwaters are contaminated. It also causes harm to people as well, because we eat fish, drink water and eat plants that are polluted by acid rain. It is a problem that we must all face together and try to get rid of. However, acid rain on it's own is not the biggest problem. It causes many other problems such as aluminum poisoning. Acid Rain is deadly.

Acid rain is polluted rain. The pollutants go up to the atmosphere and when it rains it brings the pollution down with it. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are the gases that form the acid rain. When these gases mix with moisture it can make rain, snow, hail, or even fog. The scientific term for acid rain is acid deposition that means when the acid is taken from the air and is deposited on the earth. Major industries, coal burning factories, power plants and automobile engines are the main sources of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide that cause acid rain. Volcanoes and forest fires also causes sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Some of the many problems that come from acid rain are the killing of many plants and underwater life in thousands of lakes and streams around the world. It strips forest soils of nutrients and damages farm crops. Acid rain can also corrode stone buildings, bridges, and priceless monuments. Acid rain can also be harmful to humans because acid rain kills the crops and fish we eat, ruins homes, and the acid can release lead in the pipes and the lead could go into our drinking water. It is hard to determine where acid rain may fall next, because the wind from a polluted area could carry pollution to another area and the acid rain could fall there. The regions affected more by acid rain are large parts of eastern North America, Scandinavia, and central Europe. In many of places acid rain isn't a problem because some soils can neutralize the acid and it doesn't affect the crops. Areas more sensitive to acid rain is in the western United States most of Washington all of Oregon, sections of California and most of Idaho. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and a large section of northeast Canada. The soil in these places can not neutralize acid rain deposits, then the nutrients are stripped which means the crops in those places may not survive. The Black forest is a mountainous region in Baden-Wurttemberg, in southwestern Germany. The valleys are fertile and make good pastureland as well as providing good soil vineyards. No forest region is showing serious effects of acid rain. Many trees are dying, the forest lost masses of needles, leaving them with sparse, scuffing crowns. Their major industries are Lumbering wood, manufacturing toys and cuckoo clocks. Winter sports and mineral springs attract tourists.

Acid rain can damage and ruin soils by stripping the soils nutrients. But some soils can neutralize and weaken acid deposits that fall from the sky. These soils are called alkaline soil, also called a base. In 1838 the German chemist Justus von Liebig offered the first really useful definition of an acid, namely, a compound containing hydrogen that can react with a metal to produce hydrogen gas.

Soil is formed when rocks are broken up by the weather and erosion and mixed with organic matter from plants and animals. The term soil generally refers to the loose surface of the Earth, made from solid rock. To the farmer, soil is the natural medium for growth of all land plants. The rocks that make up soil could be acid, neutral, or alkaline, another name for a base. Limestone and chalk are rocks that are formed from tiny shells that are rich in calcium. Alkaline is made up of calcium. When acid rain falls on alkaline soil the calcium makes the acid become weaker or neutralize. Farmers put lime (a very strong alkaline substance) and special fertilizers in there soil neutralize the acid in the soil on a regular daily basis.

In general, soil structure is classified as sandy, clay, or loam, although most garden soils are mixtures of the three in varying proportions. A sandy soil is very loose and will not hold water. A clay soil is dense and heavy, sticky when wet, and almost brick hard when dry. Loam is a mixture of sand and clay soils, but it also contains large quantities of humus, or decayed organic material, which loosens and aerates clay soil and binds sandy soil particles together. In addition, humus supplies plant nutrients. Then, soil structure can be improved by digging in compost, manure, peat moss, and other organic matter.

Parts of western United States, Minneapolis, northeastern North America and east and north Canada are places in North America where soil is more sensitive to acid deposits then any other places. Many factors, including the soil chemistry and the type of rock determine the environments ability to neutralize the acid deposits from the rain.

Soils naturally contain small amounts of poisonous minerals such as mercury, aluminum, and cadmium. Normally, these minerals do not cause serious problems, but as the acidity of the soil increases, chemical reactions allow the minerals to be absorbed by the plants. The plants are damaged and any animals that eat the plants will absorb the poisons, which will remain in the animals' body and can hurt them or even kill them. The harmful minerals can also leach out of the soil into streams and lakes where they can kill fish and other types of living creatures. The problem gets even bigger and bigger when pollution dumps more minerals in the soil. For example, in some parts of Poland vegetable crops have been found to contain ten times more lead than is considered safe.

Some plants need and require soil, and the farmers do not want lime to

be put in there soil. If



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