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Acid Rain - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Acid Rain. What is it?. Acid rain is rain, snow or fog that is polluted by acid in the atmosphere and damages the environment. Two common air pollutants acidify rain: sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ) and nitrogen oxide (NO).

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Presentation Transcript
what is it
What is it?
  • Acid rain is rain, snow or fog that is polluted by acid in the atmosphere and damages the environment.
  • Two common air pollutants acidify rain: sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NO).
  • When these substances are released into the atmosphere, they can be carried over long distances by winds before returning to earth as acidic rain, snow, fog or dust.
  • When the environment cannot neutralize the acid being deposited, damage occurs.
ph levels of acid rain
pH levels of acid rain
  • Neutral water has a pH of 7.0
  • Normal rain has a pH of 5.5
  • While acid rain has a pH of less than 5.5
what does it do
What does it do?
  • Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams and contributes to damage of trees at high elevations (for example, red spruce trees above 2,000 feet) and many sensitive forest soils.
  • Acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's cultural heritage.
natural vs manmade
Natural vs. Manmade
  • Only about half the sulfur dioxide occurring in the atmosphere is natural
  • It comes from volcanoes, swamps, and other rotting organic material.
  • The rest is manmade
  • In industrial regions the amount of manmade sulfur dioxide in the air can be as high as 90%
where is acid rain a problem
Where is acid rain a problem?
  • Acid rain is a problem in eastern Canada because many of the water and soil systems in this region lack natural alkalinity - such as a lime base - and therefore cannot neutralize acid naturally.
  • It is also a problem in the eastern parts of the U.S like New York and Connecticut because it is so industrialized.
how to reduce acid rain
How to reduce acid rain
  • Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the main pollutants that cause acid rain. These pollutants are given off largely by the combustion of fossil fuels.
  • Reducing the use of fossil fuels therefore, including the use of electricity generated by coal- and oil-fired power plants, will help reduce acid rain-causing emissions. The following are some more specific suggestions on what you, as an individual, can do:
what you can do to help
What you can do to help
  • In the home
  • Avoid the use of air conditioners altogether.
  • Turn out the lights in empty rooms and when away from home.
  • Turn down the heat at night and when away from home.
  • Don't use sink garbage disposal units.
  • Transportation
  • Walk, ride your bike or take a bus to work or school.
  • Share a ride with a friend or co-worker.
  • Reduce the number of trips you make in your car.
  • Drive at moderate speeds.
  • Take the train or bus on long trips.
  • Go CFC-Free.