WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF ACID RAIN?
Acid rain can affect the ecosystem, animals, plants, and other components in the environment. The effects can be short-term or long-term depending on the level of acidity of the precipitation.
Effects of Acid Rain on the Environment
When acid rain falls to the ground, it can flow into rivers, streams, and lakes as runoff. This will lead to the pollution of the water systems.
- Acid rain makes water systems toxic to fish, amphibians, and other aquatic animals.
- Additionally, acid rain affects how aquatic animals interact with their environment.
- In some cases, acid rain has caused the mass destruction of trees and forest cover in different parts of the world.
Effects of Acid Rain on Plants
- Acid rain can cause damage to plant leaves and roots, thereby altering normal biological processes in plants.
- It can also damage the thick waxy cuticle protecting the leaves. This will leave the leaves exposed to infections and destructive insects.
- Acid rain causes certain minerals and nutrients to leach faster through the soil. This prevents plants from getting the food that they need to grow.
- Without key nutrients like calcium and magnesium, plants are more likely to die.
- Acid rain also causes the aluminum to leach through the soil, causing aluminum toxicity.
- Toxic soils may slow down the rate of absorption in plants, resulting in stunted growth and other complications.
- Seeds can fail to germinate in soils contaminated by acid rain.
Effects of Acid Rain on Humans
Acid rain has no direct effect on humans, but the effects that it has on the environment can affect us.
- It can cause metals such as aluminum, copper, mercury, and lead to dissolving into our water systems. This will make the water toxic, thereby causing serious health complications.
- Acid rain can also corrode and damage architectural structures, resulting in costly repairs.
- Breathing in microscopic acidic precipitations can cause respiratory problems like pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, etc.
- When acid rain degrades the soil, people find it difficult to produce food and other farm products.
HOW TO PREVENT ACID RAIN
We can only prevent acid rain by curbing the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other pollutants. This will not help in conserving the environment but will also protect us from health complications.
Design Cleaner Power Plants
-The best way to go about this is by using wind or solar energy. Wind turbines can generate electricity without emitting harmful gasses into the atmosphere.
-This will greatly lower the number of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere.
Restrict the use of Fossil Fuels
-When fossil fuels such as coal are burnt, they produce particulates like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The presence of these compounds in the atmosphere can cause the formation of acid rain.
ACID RAIN CAN CAUSE UNTOLD DAMAGES
Acid rain should be given the same attention that people give other environmental problems. It affects the ecosystem as it pollutes water systems and also poisons aquatic animals. Additionally, acid rain can damage plants, buildings, cars, and other structures. It also puts our health at risk since it predisposes us to respiratory complications.
The best way to prevent acid rain from forming is by curbing the emission of harmful gasses. People should resort to renewable sources of energy that won’t pollute the environment.