Why is rain more acidic now?
Over the last century, increasing amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted from fossil fuel burning power plants, primarily from coal, have been identified as the main causes of increased acid rain.
Is acid rain becoming more acidic?
Normal, clean rain has a pH value of between 5.0 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic. However, when rain combines with sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides—produced from power plants and automobiles—the rain becomes much more acidic. Typical acid rain has a pH value of 4.0.
What is acid rain and when does it occur?
Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These then mix with water and other materials before falling to the ground.
How often is acid rain?
In these areas, the pH of precipitation can average between 4.0 and 4.5 annually, and the pH of individual rainstorms can sometimes drop below 3.0. In addition, cloud water and fog in polluted areas may be many times more acidic than rain falling over the same region.
Can acid rain burn your skin?
Very strong acids will burn if they touch your skin and can even destroy metals. Acid rain is much, much weaker than this; it is never acidic enough to burn your skin. Rain is always slightly acidic because it mixes with naturally occurring oxides in the air.
What is acid rain for kids?
Acid rain is a form of air pollution. When coal and petroleum are burned in automobiles, electric power plants, and factories, they release certain harmful gases into the air. These gases combine with the oxygen and water in the air.
What makes acid rain acidic?
Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, where they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants, known as acid rain.