Definition - What does Acid Rain mean?
Acid rain is precipitation that is highly acidic. This means that it contains high levels of hydrogen ions, causing its acidity or low pH. Acid rain can have hazardous effects on infrastructures as well as animals and plants.
Acid rain is also known as acid deposition.
Corrosionpedia explains Acid Rain
Acid rain is composed of water droplets with unusually high acidity brought about by atmospheric pollution. More specifically, it is caused by excessive levels of nitrogen and sulfur emissions from vehicles and industrial facilities. Acid rain can also include other kinds of acidic precipitation like snow.
Acidic deposition takes place in two ways:
- Wet - This is a kind of precipitation that obtains acids from atmosphere and deposits these onto the surface of the earth.
- Dry - Polluting gases and particles stick to the ground through smoke and dust without precipitation. This type is particularly dangerous because precipitation can be washed away into rivers, lakes and streams.
Acid rain has several impacts on man-made and natural environments. Aquatic settings are severely impacted because the precipitation falls into it directly. Deposition of acids can make clay soils release magnesium and aluminum, causing more acidity in most areas. If pH falls below 4.8, animals and plants are at risk of death.
Acid rain can affect art, architecture and other infrastructure with its ability to cause corrosion to materials. In fact, acid rain can corrode vehicles, modern buildings, steel bridges, pipes below and above ground and many other items as well.
To prevent these adverse effects, various efforts are being performed to control the emission of nitrogen and sulfur into the environment.