Acid Rain and Its Effect on Water

by wfnblog on August 20, 2007

People do not realize just how big of a problem acid rain really is. Some people are not even aware that acid rain is even a problem, let alone a big one. Acid rain is a topic that most people do not bring up because they do not know that much about it. Another reason it is not brought up enough is because they choose to ignore it, like most people tend to do when there is a problem. One thing is for sure; acid rain and its effect on water will not go away if we continue to ignore the problem it is causing. What is acid rain? Acid rain is the result from air pollution. The polluting gases then react with the tiny droplets of water to form sulphuric and nitric acids. When it rains from these polluted clouds, very weak acid falls down.

Acid Rain and its Effect on Aquatic Ecosystems
One of the ways acid rain has an effect on water is by damaging the aquatic ecosystem. Microorganisms may be affected if they are in lakes and streams where the water has become acidified. Most biological living microorganisms thrive best when they are within a narrow range of pH levels. The ideal is near neutral or 7.0. Aquatic animal life is different from one animal to the next in their susceptibility to changes in pH. Some species tolerate acid better than others. Even though some might handle acid okay, it still poses a problem for the aquatic ecosystems. As the organisms that are on the bottom of the food chain disappear, the ones on the top will be affected. This is the main concern about acid rain affecting the aquatic ecosystems.

How We Can Help Reduce Acid Deposition
As dealing with any problem, it helps to understand it first before the issue gets tackled. Acid deposition can be reduced. Many people just think it is inevitable to have acid rain because it comes from droplets. So people think, how can we change that? Acid rain starts from air pollution. That is how the pollutants get in the droplets in the first place. Like many problems, acid rain was not created by a single person. Therefore, it will not take a single person to fix it. When we all come together, that is when the problem can be reduced. First and foremost, we need to be well informed. It is little articles such as this that can educate people on what acid rain is and how it is a problem in our society. Since energy production is the biggest factor concerning acid deposition, we can help by conserving energy. Some ways include; insulate your homes the best you know how, carpool or walk/bike to places, always turn your computer and lights off when you are not using them, and be aware of your thermostat (keep it lower in the winter and higher in the summer). Those are just a few ways in which we as a whole can come together and make a dent in the problem of acid deposition.

References:
http://www.yptenc.org.uk/docs/factsheets/env_facts/acid_rain.html
http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/2.html
http://www.policyalmanac.org/environment/archive/acid_rain.shtml

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