Acid Rain


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 which means when the acid is taken from the air and is deposited
on the earth. Major industries, coal burning factories, power plants and
automoble engines are the main sources of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide
which caues acid rain. Volcaneoes and forest fires also causes sulfur dioxide
and nitrogen oxide. Some of the many problems that come from acid rain is the
killing of 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 pollueted area could carry pollution to
another area and the acid rain could fall there. The regions effected more by
acid rain is large parts of eastern North America, Scandinavia, and central
Europe. In alot of places acid rain isn't a probelm because some soils can
neutralize the acid and it doesn't effect the crops. Areas more sensitive to
acid rain is in the western United States most of Washington all of Oregon,
sectons of California and most of Idaho. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and a
large section of north east 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 pasture land 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, scruffing 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 alkaine soil the
calcium makes the acid become weaker or neutralize. Farmers put lime (a very
strong alkaine substance) and special fertilzers in there soil netralize 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 brickhard 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 the is more
sensitive to acid deposits then any other places. Many factors, including the
soil chemistry and the type of rock determine the enviroments ablity 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