What is Acid Rain?
Acid rain is any form of precipitation with high levels of nitric and sulphuric acids. Acid rain can occur as deposition of a mixture from wet (rain, snow, sleet, fog, cloud water, and dew) and dry (acidifying particles and gases) acidic components.
Burning fossil fuels causes acid rain. Burning oil, gas and coal in power stations releases Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) into the atmosphere. Burning oil and petrol in motor vehicles puts nitrogen oxides (NOX) into the atmosphere.
These gases mix with water droplets in the atmosphere creating weak solutions of nitric and sulphuric acids. When precipitation occurs, these solutions fall as acid rain. Acid rain causes many problems.
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