What is acid rain and how does it affect the environment

Acid rain is every bit as scary as it sounds: what would normally be a welcome and relieving weather effect becomes a hazard for both the people and the environment.

Acid rain proves that the warnings of Green activists shouldn’t be taken lightly – with industrialization perpetually on the rise, acidic rain is becoming a worldwide issue and it needs to be taken very seriously.

How does rain turn acidic, anyway?

As you might have imagined, us humans have a little something to do with the rain turning sour. Many if not most heavy-duty factories with big chimneys are contributing their part to the formation of acid rain – the fossil fuels used by these industrial giants evaporate into a thick cloud that ends up mixing with the moisture in the air and makes any subsequent rain from the area acidic.

If you’re thinking about your car now, you ought to – each fossil fuel-ran vehicle (read: most of them) also contributes to the formation of acid rain, especially when used on a regular basis. Also, bigger vehicles burn more fuel and create bigger emissions, thereby having an even greater negative impact on the environment.

There’s no doubt that industrial advancements elevated our society to new heights and that improvements in the automotive industry have lead to faster, sturdier and more affordable vehicles. Nothing is without its downsides, however, and acid rain is a major drawback of industrial progress. What’s worse, the built-up acidity doesn’t need to actually rain down to cause damage – it can interact with the environment and its people in more passive ways while still being every bit as dangerous.

But is acid rain really that big of a problem?

The effects of acid rain aren’t just big: they’re downright huge. For starters, acid rain is a major enemy of forests and many sickly forests of present day have been made such through acidity accumulation. In a typical forest, acid rain will weaken each individual tree by robbing it of much-needed nutrients – left in such a weakened state, the trees become prone to sickness, infestation and even death with little hopes of restoring them back to health.

Acid rain also harms bodies of water, especially those that are more static. Constant acid rainfall greatly reduces the chances of the affected water being drinkable and also renders it essentially useless for soil applications. Not only this, but acid rain can also cause sickness and death in various aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms including fish, frogs and even certain types of lizards.

Lastly, there is the profound negative effect that acid rain has on humans. Breathing in the harmful particles brought down to surface level by acid rains can cause a host of health issues like pneumonia or asthma. Likewise, those with existing respiratory conditions will find them aggravated after breathing in acidic air – more than anyone else, people with existing respiratory ailments should try their best to avoid areas with a lot of acidity in the air.

There are undoubtedly many more health issues that acid rain can cause in humans and while they’re only starting to get discovered, the message is clear: it’s in everyone’s best interest to work towards reducing acidity in the air on a global level.