Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks
Acid rain occurs when particles and gases are released into the atmosphere, and then re-deposited into the soil in the form of rain, snow, and other precipitation. This phenomenon has become a serious issue because the acidic elements seep into the ground, affecting the soil, forests, plant and animal life, as well as human life. In addition, the acid rain can eat away at precious historic buildings and monuments. There has been great debate over what causes acid rain. In essence, the gases that are emitted from vehicles and factories, as well as other sources, react to the atmosphere. The combination is typically sulfuric acid, along with nitric acid, thus the term acid rain. This environmental problem has long been a serious one that scientists are working to help prevent from becoming catastrophic.
Not only does acid raid affect the soil and plants, it has a damaging effect on lakes and rivers as well. This can cause a decrease in various fish specimen, as well as other fresh water life. There is, however, minimal effect on humans who directly come in contact with acid rain. The burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of acid rain, so there are now steps being to put into place to help reduce emissions. Mining, transportation, and even emissions from air conditioners can be linked as culprits. Engineers are working on better, more efficient automobiles that run on water vapor or other sources, which can drastically reduce emissions into the air. Hybrid cars that partially use electricity to operate are also currently being sold and driven. Working together, people can develop new ways to combat the harmful results of acid rain. Teaching the next generation about how to prevent it is another important step to ensuring that we have a healthy environment for our children.