The Problem of Acid Rain

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Acid rain is precipitation of higher than normal acidity. Manmade increases in the acidity of precipitation are traced mainly to the burning of coal, oil, and gas by heavy industry and electrical utilities. Burning these fuels releases sulfur and nitrogen oxides (Sox and Nox) to the atmosphere where they combine with water vapor to produce sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3) . The acids in the atmosphere are carried and deposited on the earth's surface in the forms of rain, snow, and other precipitation. Acid rain in Canada is very harmful since it causes damage to manmade structures, it poses a threat to our living earth and in addition, it is very expensive to control.

Although there is not yet a sure way of eliminating acid rain, it is very expensive to control. "Adding lime to lakes affected by acid rain may neutralize the lakes.  Studies prove that adding lime to pretentious lakes produces a buffering action. The more lime a lake possesses, means that there is more buffering capacity present, which in turn means that the lake will survive longer. The lime, quite similar to the limestone at the bottoms of certain lakes, neutralizes the acid by buffering the lakes. "Ontario has begun dumping lime into its lakes in an expensive attempt to save them.  Dumping lime into lakes is an expensively precise way of controlling acid rain, yet it is not the only way.

Other ways of controlling the damage caused by acid rain include breeding fish, which are resistant to acid, washing high sulfur coal, and adding scrubbers to smoke stacks. "Breeding fish, which are unaffected by acid, is viewed as a ridiculous idea by many.  The idea has not yet been tested and the policy allowing this to be implemented will take approximately 3-5 years to come through. Experiments, however, breeding anti-acid fish have been tested and the results did not compare with the other ways of contro... Continue Reading