Acid Rain


As the century past, the industrial society kept advancing. However,
many advantages of the industrial society brings us also has a down side. One
of the adverse effects of industrialization is acid deposition due to power
plant, fossil fuel and automobile emissions. Acid rain is the popular term but
the scientists prefer the term acid deposition. Acid rain can have adverse
effects on the environment by damaging forests or by lowering the pH of the
lakes and making the water too acidic for many aquatic plants and animals to
live.

The father of acid rain research is an Englishman named Charles Angus
Smith who suggested in, 1852, that sulfuric acid in Manchester, English, was
causing metal to rust and dyed goods to fade. One source that causes acid rain
are fossil fuel. Fossil fuel has many usage in our society. Such as to power
electric power plants, industrial boilers, smelters, businesses, schools, homes
and vehicles of all sort. These various energy sources contribute 23.1 million
tons of sulfur dioxide and 20.5 million tons of nitrogen oxides to our
atmosphere worldwide. When fossil fuels are ignited like oil and coal, they
release carbon dioxide, a so-called greenhouse gas that traps heat within the
earth\'s atmosphere which causes global warming that is taking place right now.
Also, it releases sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and various metals (mercury,
aluminum) that are released into the atmosphere that reacts with other airborne
chemicals (water vapor and sunlight) to produce sulfuric and nitric acid which
later can be carried long distance from their source and be deposited as rain
(acid rain) but acid doesn\'t just came from rain but also in the forms of snow,
hail, fog, and mist.

Forests are a complex ecosystems that involves trees, soil, water, the air,
climate and other living organisms that support the community of wildlife:
animals, birds, insects and plants and also a major economic resource. The
countries hardest effected by acid rain is in the European countries, yet
central Europe face a much greater threat since it has a large amount of
forest area and about 8% of German\'s forest face the lethal effect of
Waldsterben or forest death of acid rain. Acid rain kill about 50 million
hectares of forest that have been damaged in Europe and in Central and Eastern
Europe\'s thousands of tons of pollution each year that 14,000 lakes are unable
to support sensitive aquatic life. Acid rain does not kill trees outright but
weakens them to the point where they become susceptible to extremes of heat or
cold, attacks from blight-causing or from inserts such as the gypsy moth, and
other environmental stresses. The problem of acid rain is caused by burning of
fossil fuel that emits SO2 and industrial factories from the North America that
emits pollution that travels to Europe. Acid rain is now becoming a growing
problem in Third World countries such as China and India due to rapidly
expanding populations where energy demands are increasing. Thus, the rate of
fossil fuel consumption have greatly increased and where pollution controls are
all non-existent have greatly to their problems with acid rain. Yet, most
emissions are primarily located in eastern North America, Europe, and China.
That is why acid rain is so threatening because it is concentrated and it has a
devastating effect on soil because most of the trees get their nutrients from
soil, which lakes, ponds, streams, and other waterways, which receives runoffs
from soils uphill which humans.

When gets into the lakes and river it destroy all living things and
declines in populations of fish, aquatic plant life and micro-organisms. Fish
just goes extinct because they simply fail to reproduce and become less and less
abundant, and older and older, until they die out. Changes in the biology of
the provided one of the first clues to the problem of acid pollution is linked
between the acidly of lakes and fish production. In the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment reported that 140 acidified lakes in the province has no fish at all,
and a further 48,000 lakes would not be able to tolerate extended acid inputs.
There are three stages in the acidification of surface water. The first stage,
is bicarbonate ions neutralize acids by reacting with hydrogen to produce carbon
dioxide and water. If the bicarbonate content is maintained at a critical
minimum level, the pH value of the water will remain stable, and plants, animals
and micro-organisms will be unaffected. The second stage, is when the
bicarbonate content drops below the critical level, and large influxes of
hydrogen ions can no longer be neutralized. The pH value begins to go