Atmospheric Issues

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Submitted By mistasmiff
Words 989
Pages 4
Atmospheric Issues
Anthony Smitt
January 20, 2013
Christine Snyder

Acid rain is the atmospheric issue I will be discussing in this writing. “Acid rain, also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, is precipitation possessing a pH of about 5.2 or below primarily produced from the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx; the combination of NO and NO2) from human activities, mostly the combustion of fossil fuels” (Butler and Likens, 2012). I will be comparing and contrasting the indoor air pollutant tobacco smoke with acid rain. ”Tobacco smoke pollution, or secondhand smoke, comes from two places: smoke breathed out by the person who smokes, and smoke from the end of a burning cigarette” (Clean Air Council). “"Acid rain" is a broad term referring to a mixture of wet and dry deposition (deposited material) from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids” (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2007). Acid rain comes from emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the environment. There are many different contributors to these types of emissions, both man-made and natural sources. Examples include natural sources like volcanoes or decaying vegetation, or fossil fuel combustion which is a man-made source (U.S. environmental Protection Agency, (2007). As the Chapter 9 Reading states, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides in the atmosphere react with water to produce dilute solutions of sulfuric acid (H2SO4), nitric acid (HNO3), and nitrous acid (HNO2). The acids return to Earth’s surface as acid precipitation or particulates.
Acid rain can cause rivers and lakes to become highly acidic, and as a result some aquatic animals are declining. Birds that live in areas that have high levels of acid deposition are also affected. They are at risk of laying eggs that are not as hard as…...

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