Another form of industrial waste that contributes to water pollution is acid rain. Acid rain is a product of industries burning coal. The burning of coal produces sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide, and when these chemicals combine with the earth’s atmosphere it forms acid rain The Northeastern part of the United States has the worst acid rain levels in the world. More specific, the states with the highest concentration are Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and some boarding parts of Canada and New England area. The falling acid rain can destroy plants and animals in several different ways. The acidification of a lake, river, or stream because of the high acidic levels in the water kills algae. Since algae are the main source of food, for many species of fish, they will also suffer from the high acid levels.
Acidity of an ecosystem, measured in pH, is a crucial factor to the survival of a species in an ecosystem. Altering it can have result in dramatically negative effects, in spite of the fact that pH of an ecosystem has been dramatically changed over a relatively short period of time due to various human activities. For example, acid rain is a major environmental problem that is caused by human-made pollution. When fossil fuels are burnt to get energy, pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides get mixed into the rainwater and eventually are evaporated into the atmosphere. These gases enter the atmosphere, and mix with water in the water cycle to form an acidic mixture of water and gases. This water falls in the form of acid rain, which
Acid deposition can come in two forms, dry and wet. Wet deposition is when the acid falls in the form of fog, snow or other precipitation. Dry deposition is found in dry areas where it does not precipitate often. In these areas the chemicals fall as dust or smoke, and stick to whatever they land on. Acid deposition can be result to both natural and manmade sources. Natural sources of acid deposition include electrical storms, volcanoes, and decaying vegetation. Man-made emissions, from power plants that burn fossil fuels are released into the atmosphere as nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). These elements react to oxygen, water, and other gasses in the atmosphere in order to form acidic compounds. These acidic compounds then fall in either a wet or dry form. Acid rain can have a potentially devastating effects on the ecosystem it falls on. When acid rain hits the ground, it faces a natural buffer in the soil often in the form of limestone and calcium carbonate. The water will then travel into either a stream or a lake, where it affects fish. If the fallen rain has a pH at or below 5 undesirable species invade, often in the form of mosses or plankton. The top layer of water becomes too acidic for the inhabitants reproductive cycle to work properly, slowly killing off the
Soil acidity/alkalinity is essential for farmers determining the profitability of planting certain types of crop in certain areas. Some plants grow well in slightly acidic soils while others prefer an alkaline environment.
Acid deposition effects water systems because it lowers the pH in the water, creating adverse effects. More Acidic water will also more readily absorb aluminum leached from soil runoff. The combination of aluminum and acidic water is very harmful to many species. When biomagnification occurs many species will die off resulting in less biodiversity in the water system. Dead or dying trees is a common sight with acid deposition in effect. Acid rain leaches aluminum from the soil, doing so sucking the nutrients from the tree and causing death. At high elevation acidic fog, or clouds can strip the nutrients from the trees foliage’ causing them to lose leaves and die. The trees are also less able to absorb sunlight, and with that will not be able to achieve photosynthesis. As well as rural areas, urban areas also get affected. If buildings are made out of marble or limestone, the stone will begin to peel and chip away over time. This is possible because when the main crust chips away underneath is something composed of gypsum. A mineral that forms from the reaction between calcite, water, and sulfuric acid. This mineral can be slowly eaten away and destroyed by acid
Acid precipitation is a wide term that incorporates any type of precipitation with acidic parts, for example, sulfuric or nitric acid that tumble to the ground from the climate in wet or dry structures. This can incorporate into rain, snow, haze, hail or even clean that is acidic. Acid rain as numerous natural impacts, yet none is more prominent than its effect on lakes, streams, wetlands, and other amphibian situations.
Acid rain is rain that has been made acidic by certain pollutants in the air and has low pH levels that can harm the environment. It is a type of acid deposition that can appear in many forms such as, wet deposition, which can be rain, sleet snow or fog that is more acidic than normal, and dry deposition, where gases and dust particles become acidic. (Epa.gov) Acid deposition in wet and dry forms, falls on buildings, cars and trees and makes lakes acidic, which then leads to the danger of plant and animal life. Dry acid deposition though, can be inhaled by humans, which can then cause health problems. (Epa.gov)
Soil is the most important element for agricultural ecosystems. Healthy soil comes with beneficial microbes and insects. Unfortunately, these are often killed off by the abuse of pesticides. Healthy soil can produce strong crops that are less vulnerable to pests. Damaged soils often need strong fertilizers application to produce a high amount of crops. Soil quality can be amplified in many ways, including leaving crop remainders in the field after harvest and adding composted plant material (Union of Concerned Scientists) Compared to industrial agriculture, companies continue to damage and consume natural soil. While intensive plowing and monocrop (does not rotate) agriculture systems have caused nutrient exhaustion and soil erosion. Excessive application of fertilizers and pesticides has contaminated soils and polluted waterways (Grace Communications Foundations)
Acid rain has a large concentration of hydrogen ions mainly coming from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. It could kill living organisms, damage buildings, and monuments.
The acid rain eventually falls back into our rivers, streams and wells where we intern drink it and this is where the danger begins. The film gave various examples of different places that suffered greatly by contaminated water. The one that stood out most was Lago Titicaca a river found in Bolivia that was contaminated by blood it was devastating to see the people’s main stream in blood red because of the ignorance of the people.
The high water content of these soils causes the chemistry to be primarily reducing rather than oxidizing as it is in most other soils. Most of the reactions are mediated by biological activities. Such a chemical environment means that the rate of decomposition of organic matter is relatively slow. The reduced carbon in the organic matter of saturated soils is the source of energy and electrons to drive the redox reactions (Schipper et al, p. 923). Under slightly reducing conditions, the process of denitrification breaks down nitrate (NO3-) into N2 "through intermediates including nitrite (NO2) and N2O" (McBride, p. 265). Under strongly reducing conditions, some of the N2 is transformed into NH4- through plant enzyme-catalization in a process called nitrogen fixing. Reducing conditions also change sulfate (SO42- ) into H2S a noxious smelling gas. Much of the hydrogen sulfide is dissolved and dissociated in the water where the sulfide interacts with Fe2+ form iron sulfides. In more moderately reducing conditions the iron can be contained in siderite (Fe CO3). In both instances the solubility of iron is greatly reduced (McBride, p. 266). Saturated soils tend to decompose organic matter slowly, transform nitrates, and reduce the solubility of metals such as iron. The reduced iron results in gleying (greyish-green coloration) of the soil and in the case of fluctuating water levels mottles
There are two primary methods of preventing acid mine drainage fall. One is preventing sulfuric acid from forming, and the other is neutralizing the acid after it forms. In