Acid rain occurs when harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide
and nitrogen oxide react with rain. This type of rain damages trees, crops and
buildings. Industries and power stations release a lot of sulphur dioxide and
nitrogen oxide. Exhaust fumes and open-air burning release carbon dioxide into
the atmosphere. When these gases enter the atmosphere, they mix with rain water
to form acids like carbonic acid, sulphuric acid and nitric acid. They then form
Acid rain occurs as a result of pollution. Acid rain is thus common
in large towns like Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai. This is attributed to rapid
industrialization and urbanization in these areas. However, acid rain
is by no means confined to these areas as it
may be carried by wind to other areas.
Acid rain has many adverse effects.
Lakes and rivers cannot sustain aquatic life if acid rain flows into the water.
It will also lead to a reduction in crop yields. There will also be
irreparable damage to forests and wildlife.
Being corrosive, it can cause extensive
damage to buildings. An example of an important building that has been corroded
by acid rain is the Taj Mahal of India. Acid rain cal also affect human beings.
Skin problems such as rashes and itchiness, hair loss and respiratory problems
have been linked to acid rain. Heart and lung problems can also be aggravated by
Acid rain affects the biodiversity of the ecosystems. As lakes, streams
and other freshwater bodies become more acidic, the number and types of fish and
other aquatic plants and animals that live in these waters decrease.
causes poisonous metals to seep into underground drinking water sources, thereby
making it unfit for human consumption.
When acid rain falls in forest areas,
it releases toxic metals such as lead and zinc which cause the stunted growth of
trees and plants. In this way, acid rain brings about slower growth and the
ultimate death of forests.
Scientists agree that the burning of fossil fuels
such as oil and natural gas is a major cause of acid rain. Thus, industries
which use fossil fuels such as the automobile, paper and chemical industries
should reduce emissions of harmful gases, which will in turn reduce the acidity