Acid Rain And Its Effects On The Environment

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Acid rain is the general term that includes any form of precipitation composed of sulfuric or nitric acid. When sulfur and nitrogen oxides are emitted into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and vehicles, they are transported by wind currents; reacting with water, oxygen, and other elements to form acids. As a result, these acids mix with water and fall to the ground, polluting soil or various bodies of water. Although this cycle is unseen, acid rain dramatically affects the environment, especially crop growth and health. To find the concentration of acidity in a particular substance a pH test is completed. The term pH stands for potential hydrogen, measuring how acidic or basic a substance is. Acids which have a higher concentration of H+ ions have a pH of less than 7; however, bases which have a lower concentration of H+ ions have a pH greater than 7. The pH of a substance is essential to understanding whether organisms can or cannot survive in a certain environment. For example sweet potatoes optimal pH range for growing is between 5.0-5.5; however, alfalfa’s is between 6.5 to 7.0. These two different plants cannot survive as well in environments with different pH’s. One factor that changes the pH of soil is acid rain. Although normal rain has a pH of 5.6,acid rain has a pH between 4.2-4.4. As a result, acid rain increases the acidity in soil, harming plants. The acid from the atmosphere reaches the soil mainly through wet deposition such as rain and

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