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The Problem of Acid Rain Essay

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The Problem of Acid Rain

WHAT CAUSES ACID RAIN

When power stations, factories, houses and cars release pollution into the air it has chemicals in it called sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

SULPHUR DIOXIDE: Man-made sulphur dioxide comes mainly from burning fossils fuels in power stations. It then mixes with water in the atmosphere to make sulphuric acid, which will later fall as acid rain.

NITROGEN OXIDES: Nitrogen oxides are also man-made and mainly come from car exhausts. These gases also go into the atmosphere and mix with water to form nitric acid, which once again falls as acid rain.

WHAT EFFECTS DOES ACID RAIN HAVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT ?

SOILS, TREES AND PLANTS.
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This makes it easier for fungi and insects to attack the tree, and as a result the tree may die.

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Acid rain not only damages soil but can also affect the trees directly. Pollutants can block or damage the little pores on the leaves through which the plant takes in the air it needs to survive.

LAKES AND WATER Acid rain can damage the water and the wildlife in lakes. A lake that has been affected by acid rain looks clean and crystal clear, but contains no life. Most wild plants and animals that live in clean, unpolluted lakes cannot live in acid waters.

Fish are poisoned by the aluminium which is washed out of the ground into the lakes. Lakes also receive rainfall directly from the sky.

A healthy lake has a pH of around 6.5 and a large number of plants, insects and fish can live there. In addition, there are a number of animals and birds that feed on the plentiful food in a healthy lake.

As the lake becomes more acidic (the pH gets smaller) the fish find it more difficult to reproduce successfully, as the young fish find it difficult to live in the high levels of acidity and die. It is not only the acid in the water that kills them, but also poisonous minerals like aluminium that are washed out of the surrounding ground into the water. The birds that eat the fish also begin to suffer as the harmful
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