Written by Neel Goenka, a grade 8 student
We all have heard about natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, and floods. But there are a few natural disasters that not many people know and not many people talk about it.
Today I am talking about Acid rain a natural disaster that is very uncommon. The last one occurred in the 1990s in the US.
What is acid rain?
Acid rain is a chemical reaction in the clouds when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (N2O) are released into the air. Both of these gasses are less dense than air which results in it floating up into the atmosphere where it then reacts and fuses with the water and oxygen (O2) in the clouds. This is known as acid rain.
Acid rain can occur in the form of snow, form, and even dust. Some acid rain is a natural process when volcanoes or rotting plants release nitrogen oxide (N2O) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), but the majority of the gas comes from us humans when we drive our cars, using electricity and cooking food on the gas. The emissions produced by our behavior not only affects us but affects everyone in a 100’s (160km) of miles because of the heavy wind.
What does acid rain do?
Acid rain is not directly harmful to humans. In fact, even if we swim in a pool of acid rain we would not be harmed. Though the fumes that create acid rain are a huge hazard to our health. Acid rain does not affect humans directly.
Acid rain affects everything around us. It falls into water bodies or sinks into the ground, this kills all aquatic animals that have interacted with this toxic water.
Acid rain that sinks into the ground mutates the soil to what we call acidic soil. When vegetation grows on that soil the plants have a pH level of 5 which is 2 below neutral levels. (Pretty acidic.) The vegetation then attracts animal life and the animals feed on it. This affects the rest of the food chain. Another big impact acid rain has when it goes into the ground is that the acid rain spreads through the roots and seeds of plants and spreads to the soil of forests or lush vegetation, for example, forests. This can destroy huge plots of land.
What can we do to help?
In all, it comes to reducing our carbon footprint and helping to sustain the environment. There are many different approaches to help reduce our carbon footprint. There are a lot of ways of doing so, some better than others, from switching off our lights after we are done with them to biking instead of driving short distances.
This can do much more than stopping acid rain. It can help patch the ozone layer, help stop deforestation, global warming, overpopulation, and much much more.
I think that the main aspect that increases our carbon footprint is the burning of fossil fuels. This includes; air travel, big factories producing massive amounts of products at a time, and big use of electricity.
We can all do our part in working together towards a cleaner greener future.
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