Acid Rain is the term used to describe the precipitation in our world that has a pH level that is less than 5.6.
The term pH is refers to a scale that measures the levels of acidity in a solution.
These pH levels have become an important factor in some of the problems that our planet is facing.
The two main sources of acid rain are sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.
These two substances when together react and turn into Nitric Sulfuric Acids and are what is stored inside of acid rain that creates the risk factors for our planet.
3 Where the Gases Come From
69.4 from industrial combustion
3.7 from transportation
43 from transportation
32 from industrial combustion
5 from natural processes
4 Effects Plant Life
When the Nitric Sulfuric Acids are absorbed into the soil which helps accelerate the weathering of soil and remove nutrients within
Toxins like aluminum are more soluble in the soil which isnt a good thing because it prevents the use of nutrients in the plant
Plants become more susceptible to cold weather disease and insects that could eventually kill it
5 Effects Animal Life
The pH level of acidic rain does not only affect plants but animals on land and in the water as well
Fish are harmed by the pH level in rain too
6 Rain around Louisville
First we selected five site around Louisville to collect rain.
We choose to place containers at Waterfront Park near downtown one out in Jeffersontown one near Browns Lane one at Bellarmine and one out off Dixie Highway.
We also decided that we would collect the rain and check the acidic levels three times.
Before we tested the water we thought that the rain from the downtown area would be most acidic.
The second time we tested the containers was on November 10th.
We got almost the same exact results but this time the rain water around Dixie Highway did not come off as dark as the water from Bellarmine and from the waterfront so we determined that it was at about a 5 pH level.
The third time we checked was on November 28th.
The results were the exact same as the second readings we got.
This led us to conclude that the rain in Louisville Kentucky is acidic.
8 What can we do
Acid rain is a big problem but it is not unstoppable.
If the amount of sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides in the air is reduced then acid rain will be reduced.
There are many things that people can do to help reduce acid rain.
We need to conserve energy and pollute less. By using less energy less coal is burnt and as a result there is less acid rain.
Another way to help the problem is to clean the coal before it was burnt the dangerous pollutants that cause acid rain would be cleaned away.
If coal is crushed and washed in water the sulfur washes out.
However this is a very costly method and many power companies and governments do not want to spend their money cleaning coal. It is also costly to burn low-sulfur coal.
By burning low-sulfur coal it would give off less sulfur in the air as opposed to high-sulfur coal.
9 THE END
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