Acid rain is one of the damaging effects of air pollution. Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are emitted into the atmosphere, mix with water molecules, and then come back in the form of precipitation. However, a big issue here is that air currents can transport these acidic clouds many miles from where they originated from causing harmful impacts to innocent and unexpecting civilians. In today’s blog we are going to be diving deeper into what causes this acid rain, some of its impacts, and some potential solutions.
Acid rain can be caused by many different things. Generally, in today’s world this is caused by manmade pollution. However, it can also be caused by natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions. The spillage of chemicals can also lead to acid rain if it is evaporated into the atmosphere. A big issue with acid rain is that it is hard to predict where it could occur in advance when trying to find a secure site for a power plant or something else that has high odds of creating this rain. This is because in many areas wind patterns change relatively frequently. Therefore, acid rain could affect cities, crop fields, and many other areas both near and far away.
Acid rain effects almost everything that it contacts. From trees to animals, acid rain can cause severe adverse health reactions and can even change the pH of water. This change in pH can kill many different types of fish and water-based animals by destroying the membranes on their bodies. Additionally, the death of these different animals has the potential to throw off an entire ecosystem’s food chain. Acid rain has also been proven to be extremely bad for trees. Although acid rain does not physically burn human skin, it can dissolve certain nutrients that are vital to trees survival and their leaves as well. One of the major reasons we need to reduce or if possible, eliminate acid rain is because it is further killing plants and animals that are essential to our way of life.
Coming up with a solution that would permanently stop acid rain would take a lot of trial and error. However, considering many there are numerous sources that contribute to acid rain, it leaves opportunity for continued research, innovation, and development. Ways to advance the huge gains made in cleaning existing sources further can be accomplished. Additionally, more environmental regulations imposed particularly on developing countries should help to reduce acid rain considering these countries tend to produce significantly more pollution than developed countries. However, something that is heavily debated is that placing regulations on countries that are trying to develop could slow their development and hurt them economically considering renewable energy is significantly more expensive to produce.
There are many environmental issues that we are facing currently. So, it will be extremely important to find solutions to acid rain and these other environmental issues over the coming years. But it is not crazy to think that there may be one solution that solves all these problems as a result of them all being very similar.