Acid rain is a very serious environmental threat faced by our planet today. Millions of people get affected by it on a daily basis. Acid rain occurs when high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide enter in the atmosphere and start undergoing chemical transformation. These harmful gases are absorbed by water droplets in the clouds and they fall on the earth during rains. They can damage the natural soil by increasing the acidity levels and pollute rivers and lakes.
Acid rain is actually a broad term which is used to describe different types of acid that fall from the atmosphere on earth. It's mainly divided into wet and dry. Parts of the world which experience wet weather have acid rain, acid snow and fog. Other parts which experience dry weather for most of the year experience acid gas and acid dust.
Today people can see the effects of acid rain everywhere they go. Dead and weakened trees are a very common sign of acid rain, while in cities worn off or scarred buildings are also a result of acid rain. This problem is more prevalent in the northern hemisphere where there's a huge growth in the number of industries. Winds absorb more and more quantities of harmful gases produced by various kinds of industries. In addition to this, even natural sources like volcanoes, forest fires and lighting contribute to this man-made pollution.
How to Prevent Acid Rain
Acid rain has existed since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution which also marked the start of various factories. The harmful rain was discovered by an English scientist, Robert Angus Smith who came up with the term 'Acid Rain' in 1872, when he saw corrosion on the surfaces of buildings and plants because of rain. However, acid rain became an important government issue only after six to seven decades. 1980 marked the beginning of the 'Acid Deposition Act' in which environmental agencies started monitoring areas which were effected by acid rain. Since then a lot of research has been conducted and common people like us can do a lot to help environmental agencies prevent acid rain.
Here are some pointers.
- One of the main causes of acid rain is a sudden drop in the pH levels of water and that happens because of absorption of harmful gases by the atmosphere. The best way to restore the pH balance of water is to limit the use of items which run on gasoline. Instead use products which run on electricity; as they are much easier to run and maintain.
- Another great thing that all people can do is to learn how to drive cars efficiently. While driving on roads there are a lot of things that can be done to reduce smoke emission from cars. Drivers should ease up as soon as the yellow light rather than slamming on the brakes and they shouldn't rush away as soon as the lights turn green. These small practices help reduce the wastage of gasoline and helps people save a lot of money on fuel.
- Learn about the different sources of energy besides fossil fuels and try to implement them in daily usage. Many nations like France and Germany are using electrical, nuclear, wind and sun energy on large basis which has helped cut down on the pollution levels.
- Another great tip which almost all of us can practice is to always keep the vehicle tires inflated. Tires having proper pressure will provide users with a better fuel economy.
- Limit the use of buses or cars for small things, people can also make use of cycles or walk to cover small distances.
- Turn off your lights, computers and other appliances when not in use and turn the thermostat of the house at 68°F in winter and 72°F in summer when the house is empty.
Nowadays, though people don't hear about acid rain anymore, it's still a global problem faced by many nations. It's very unfortunate to see that humans are the ones who have a very important role to play in this destruction. It's time we start thinking wisely about our actions. What do you think?