Acid Rain Essay, Research Paper
Andrew J. Rickert
An extremely deadly problem in our environment is acid rain. It causes plants and animals to die especially the fish in our waters. This deadly rain causes harm because we consume fish, plants, and water exposed to acid rain. Acid rain is a problem that we must all face together and try to control.
Acid rain is caused by today’s industry not to be confused with uncontaminated rain, which falls and causes a naturally slightly acidity. Products that are manufactured cause potential acidic chemicals. The cost of properly disposing chemical products are factors of why chemicals are emitted into the atmosphere. Acidic chemicals such as carbon appear in rain, snow, and mist that fall from the sky onto our planet. Carbon is commonly found in soil and if it enters the fish’s environment results are deadly. Carbon affects many of the fish’s organs and causes death by interfering with the fish’s nervous system. Carbon also interferes in the photosynthesis process in plants. The carbon in the water can become very dangerous for fish and plants in water.
At the beginning of the twentieth century most rivers and lakes such as the Tovdal river in Norway had not yet begun to die. By 1926 local inspectors noticed many of the lakes were beginning to show signs of death. By the time scientists found the cause of acid rain it has already become very widespread across Norway. Detecting an acid lake is often difficult because it does not become acidic over night. It happens over a period of many years, or decades. The changes are usually to gradual to be noticed early. Many lakes were beginning to show signs of death in Norway. Dead fish were found along the banks of many rivers as well as the winter’s ice began to melt, hundreds of fish were found dead. Scientists began to search for the reason. As the scientists continued work they found many piles of dead fish further up the river. Divers examined the bottom of the rivers and they even found more dead fish. Many live and dead specimens were taken back to labs across Norway. When the live specimens were examined they were found to have very little sodium in their blood a typical symptom of acid poisoning.
Since the beginning of the Industrial revolution in England pollution had been affecting all the trees, soil and rivers in Europe and North America.
Many scientists had wrongly believed that acid poisoning was snow and ice running down into the streams and lakes. Some other scientists believed that the snow had been exposed to many natural acidic chemicals that gave the snow its high acid content. Other scientists were not sure that this theory was correct because at the time that the snow was added to lakes and streams the pH levels would vary from around 5.2 to 4.6. The pH levels are a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, numerically equal to seven for neutral solutions, and ranging on a scale commonly from zero to fourteen. Scientists believed that such a high jump could not be attributed to natural causes, and were correct when they believed it was due to air pollution.
A Norway scientist had a problem believing that it was the acid rain on it’s own that was affecting the lakes in such a deadly way. This scientist was Dr Rosenqvist who was the first scientist to come up with the theory that during heavy rainfall lakes contained fifteen times more acid than rain. Many scientists shunned him for this, because the idea was at the time outrageously off track. Scientist could not come up with a better answer and were forced to accept this theory because it had become a sudden fact that was backed up by scientific data.
Acid rain causes the death of lakes, rivers, and wild life. As well it causes other serious problems such as the release of aluminum and lead into our water supplies. To Limit the amount of acid rain in our atmosphere chemicals that create this pollution needs to be monitored carefully. Soil build up of these acidic chemicals take several years to deplete. Acid rain is a serious problem, controlling the amount of acidic chemicals is not easy but our environment needs to be rid of this deadly rain. We all need to work together on reduction of contaminates contributing to acid rain. One solution is to crack down on factories not using the best filtering systems when incinerating and factories giving off dangerous fumes.