Acid Precipitation Essay example

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Sitting in your room late at night, you listen to the gentle pittter-patter of the rain on your window. Ahh, so soothing and relaxing. Have you ever really wondered what the rain is really made of? Is that just water or is it acid slowly streaming down out there? That rain you hear just might be acid rain, it could change the way you live your life.
     The commonly used terms “acid rain” and “acid precipitation” describe specific forms of a type of pollution described generally as “acid deposition.” Harmful gases that rise into the air mix with cloud moisture, sunlight, and oxidants. There they chemically combine into dilute sulfuric and nitric acids, which fall back to the earth.
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Each year the Sudbury plant gave off 1% of the entire world’s sulfur dioxide emissions, including both natural and human sources (Morgan, 24).
At a staggering 1,250 ft, "Superstack" is almost as tall as the Empire State Building. Its main purpose was to act as a giant chimney to take all toxins higher into the atmosphere so that we humans would not have to breathe them. The air quality around the smelter was much better and plant life started growing back. The problem was, the sulfur dioxide was then blown whichever the winds happened to be going. Most of the time those winds to the sulfur dioxide across state borders and into Canada (Morgan, 27) Scientists then used satellite photography to trace the weather patterns back to where the sulfur dioxide originated. The acid falling back down to earth, whether it is in dry or wet form has drastic consequences for many.
A rainstorm occurs in a forest. The summer rains wash the leaves of the branches and fall to the forest floor below. Some of the water is absorbed into the soil while other water run-off enters nearby streams, rivers, or lakes. When acid rain is absorbed into the ground, it slowly poisons the tree by being absorbed through the roots. Acidic rainwater also dissolves the nutrients and minerals that the plants need from the soil. When acid rain is frequent, leaves tend to lose their protective waxy coating.

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