Thursday, January 19, 2006

Acid Rain

Well today i will be talking abt acid rain and which countries are having an effect. Rain is naturally slightly acidic. Naturally acidic because it reacts with carbon dioxide in the air to form carbonic acid. Natural rain- water has a pH of abt 5.6 . In central Europe, rain-water is more acidic with a pH of abt 4.1 and on the fringes of Europe example Ireland and Portugal, rain-water has pH of abt 4.9. Rain from individual storms can have a pH below 3. Rain water below 5 is known as acidic rain.

Acid rain is now thought to be the cause of the extensive damage to Europe's trees and to the death of fish in lakes of Canada, Norway, Sweden, Wales, Scotland and other countries. Europe shows worst signs of damage by acid rain but it is becoming a global phenomenon due to the presence of greenhouse gases.

Thousands of lakes which once stocked fish are now dead. Death of fish is normally due to aluminium poisoning. Sulphates present in acidic rain combine with aluminium to form a product which interferes with fish gills. Basically clogging it hence the fish die by the lack of oxygen.

One of the chief culprits in the formation of acidic rain is sulphur dioxide. Natural sources like volcanoes, sea spray, rotting vegetation and plankton send sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere.However most of the sulphur dioxide comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Over Europe 85% of sulphur dioxide come from fuels.

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