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Acid Rain

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Rebecca Walker

on 22 May 2010

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Transcript of Acid Rain

Acid Rain is the increase of acid, and the decrease of pH in lakes and streams around the world. How can the increase of acid in lakes and streams be decreased? Education on how acid rain forms and how it damages both natural and material environment must be done to tackle the problem of acid rain. The Clean Air Act, which was last amended in 1990, aims to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by capping emissions from power plants, promoting the use of alternative energy and pollution prevention programs. Acid rain is represented by the equation 3NO^2(g)+H^2O 2HNO^3(aq)+NO(g) The products of this equation are Nitric acid (HNO^3) and Nitric oxide (NO), or hydrogen ions and nitrate ions. The reactants in this equation are Nitric oxide (NO) and water (H^2O). There are three Nitrogen, seven Oxygen, and two Hydrogen atoms present in this reaction. There is not a catalyst in this reaction because if there was it would be shown above the arrow. In this equation, nitric oxide (NO), which contributes to the natural acidity of rainwater, is formed during lightning storms by the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen, two common atmospheric gases. In air, nitric oxide is oxidized to nitogen dioxide, which in turn reacts with water to give nitric acid. This acid dissociates in water to yield hydrogen ions and nitrate ions, lowering the pH of the solution. This equation is balanced because it has the same number of atoms for each element on both sides of the equation. It is necessary to balance the equation because according to the Law of Conservation of Mass, mass cannot be created or destroyed. This research has made me aware of a growing problem in lakes and streams everywhere. This information is directly related to the real world because changes in the pH of lakes and streams affected by acid rain can result in a decrease in the variety of fish, plants, and animals living in or near the water. Some animals and plants cannot tolerate the higher levels of acid. Snails, clams, and bass are examples of animals that can only tolerate a small increase in acidity. References
Acid rain. (2008, December 1). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/effects/surface_water.html
Beidler, A. (2008, February 22). The Harmful effects of acid rain. Retrieved from http://climate- change.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_harmful_effects_of_acid_rain
Frequently asked questions. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/faqs.htm
Acid rain. (2002). Retrieved from http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/acid_rain.htm
Effects of acid rain: lakes & streams. (2000, December 11). Retrieved from http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869V/CHEM869VLinks/www.epa.gov/airmarkets/acidrain/effects/surfacewater/html
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