Acid Rain

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Description:

"'Acid rain' is a broad term used to describe several ways that acids fall out of the atmosphere. A more precise term is acid deposition, which has two parts: wet and dry.

Wet deposition refers to acidic rain, fog, and snow, and dry refers to acidic gases and particles. About half of the acidity in the atmosphere falls back to earth through dry deposition

As this acidic water flows over and through the ground, it affects a variety of plants and animals. The strength of the effects depend on many factors, including how acidic the water is, the chemistry and buffering capacity of the soils involved, and the types of fish, trees, and other living things that rely on the water" [1].


Enablers:

  • Sulfur dioxides (SO2)
  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • Power plants: In the US electricity generation is responsible for 2/3 of the SO2, and 1/4th of the NOx output.
  • Cars/Trucks: Most of the remaining SO2/NOx output is due to traffic.
  • Increasing power demand, both in home and gasoline, thus population growth is again an enabler.


Inhibitors:

  • Home insulation
  • Power efficient/saving equipment
  • Environment friendly cars
  • Carpooling
  • Stricter government polution laws
  • Alternative energy sources


Paradigms:

Before: Little was known on the effects of power generation and buring of fossile fuels. After: More knowledge in the effects of industry and electronic devices on the environment. How the extra SO2, and NOx emission have worsening effects on our habitat. Acid rain can cause serious issues between neighboring countries because sometimes the victims of the phenomena are not identical to its generator. Like Korea, people suffer from acid rain which is mixed with yellow dust in every spring. It is necessary to establish an reasonable international standard for disputes on such environmental issues. Otherwise it is likely to incur political tension between many countries.

Experts:

U.S. Environmental Protecting Agency, among the many other environmentologists.

Timing:

Industrialization.

Web Resources: