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Acid Rain

  • By: Petra A. Zimmermann
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The average pH of rainwater is 5.6 (pH levels are based on the concentrations of hydrogen ions with respect to pure water). Because water reacts with atmospheric carbon dioxide to form carbonic acid, rain is typically slightly acidic. Acid rain (or acid deposition), however, refers to atmospheric precipitates with pH values below that of rainwater. cid-causing contaminants may originate in locations far from the acid precipitation, and so this issue crosses boundaries, necessitating political solutions.

Acid deposition is linked to numerous negative environmental impacts, affecting both the natural and built environments. Soils become more acidified, rendering them less hospitable to certain plants. Higher acid levels in lakes lead to a reduction in fish populations. Highly acidic precipitation exacerbates the weathering of many buildings, which is a ...

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