India has a tropical ecology. We enjoy rains during the monsoon season. In India, there are three primary seasons. One of them is the monsoon. Also known as the rainy season. The moist weather begins around June. It lasts for around 4 months. Hence, it ends around September. Some states may also face retreating monsoons. Thus, the season starts and ends with storms. Earlier, we could have expected clear water with no harmful mix from rain. However, things have changed after industrialization. The world has started facing acid rains. But What is Acid Rain? What are the causes of acid rain? In today’s article, we will discuss the ph of acid rain definition and its effects.
Importance of Acid Rain Topic in UPSC
In UPSC, some topics are very static. That is, they rarely change with time. Moreover, these topics are a must-read. They greatly influence our daily lives too. Further, the static topics create a basis for your current affairs. The exam asks many questions related to such static topics. One such topic is Acid Rains. Initially, it was a topic from current affairs. This is because the topic was very trendy and new to the world. The scientists were still researching the subject. Hence, the acid rain definition was regularly updated.
But after so many years, we can say that we have a clear idea about What is Acid Rain? Hence, the acid rain effects, causes, pH, etc. are well known. This makes it a part of the static UPSC syllabus now. Hence, it is imp to note that every current affairs topic will someday turn to be a static topic for the upcoming aspirants. To quote, the topic forms an imp topic in UPSC. Many topics are fluid in nature. Hence, they form a part of two or more papers. You must read about this topic from both a current and static point of view. It is useful in geography and science and tech. However, majorly the topic belongs to E&E. That is, Environment and Ecology. Hence, you need to focus on this topic more as it overlaps in diff subjects.
What is Acid Rain? & Acid Rain Definition
Let us now try to answer What is Acid Rain? Acid Rain’s Definition is rain with high levels of hydrogen ions. Hence, the ph of acid rain is very low. The name itself suggests that the rain is super acidic in nature. But what causes normal rain droplets to become acidic? There can be various causes of acid rain. However, one of them is very prominent. That is pollution. Even pollution has its types. Hence, to specify, we are speaking of atmospheric pollution or air pollution. It is a very fancy term but equally harmful in real life. This term was coined in the year 1872 by Robert Angus Smith.
Now that we have a basic acid rain definition, let us move ahead. Here, we will read about the causes of the low ph of acid rain. One must know that the ph of acid rain is less than 5.6. Now let us read about the causes one by one. The very first among causes of acid rain is pollution. This comes from vehicles in cities. Excessive sulfur and nitrogen are released by vehicles and industries in the air. The gases are then mixed with rain. This leads to highly acidic rains. The pollutants released to react with water vapor present in the atmosphere. In this chemical reaction, two types of acids are formed. That is sulphuric acid and nitric acid. The presence of these elements defines the term “Acid Rain”.
Causes of Acid Rain
The causes of acid rain can be of two types. Some causes are natural. However, even man-made activities are responsible for this type of rain. We saw how emissions from vehicles are a major cause. Further, we must also know that industrial emissions are also hazardous for rains. In addition to this, humans burn fossil fuels. This includes burning coal, diesel, garbage, incineration, etc. These are the man-made causes. The effects are very severe for living beings. In addition to this, let us read the natural causes of acid rains. One of the natural causes is volcanic eruptions.
A lot of harmful gases are released during this natural phenomenon. Other than this, lightning releases nitrogen ions in the atmosphere. The reaction with nitrogen ions then forms nitric acid naturally. Hence, these two acids are the prime causes of this rain. However, ozone, formic acid, and acetic acid also contribute to the process. Their percentage is around 5 to 20%. To read news on acid rain: click here.
What is Acid Rain and its Effects
Now we have learned What is Acid Rain? We also read the causes of acid rain and its definition. Further, we studied that the ph of acid rain is quite low. Now let us try to learn the acid rains effects. Firstly, this rain greatly impacts our daily lives. Hence, it is a very imp matter of concern for us. The harmful rain drops destroy standing crops. Moreover, it also has a bad effect on forests. It disturbs freshwater life. That is the insects, aquatic animals, and other living beings in clean water. We know the ph of acid rains is somewhere around 5. Hence, when rain is showered in big water bodies, it creates a problem.
When this rain falls in ocean waters, it causes the ocean’s ph to fall. This process can be named ocean acidification. However, it is a fact that oceans are very remotely affected. More than oceans, shallow water bodies fall prey to this process. Hence, natural water bodies are in danger due to this toxic rain. We know that the water drops contain nitrogen content in excess. As a student, we know that nitrogen is great for the growth of certain plants. Hence, it is essential in our ecology. However, nitrogen is harmful beyond certain limits. Why is this so? Firstly, it causes unwanted growth of marine plants. It also leads to the generation of phytoplanktons. This creates wild algal bloom. Thereby leading to Eutrophication.
In addition to this, let us list some other effects of the rain. The highly acidic rain droplets are harmful to aquatic life. Particularly, it affects the coral reefs. The coral skeletons are made up of limestone. This material is sensitive to a low ph level. Limestone dissolves in a low ph environment. In addition to aquatic life, low ph is also harmful to microbes in the soil. Some sensitive microbes are destroyed due to strong acids. Thus leading to soil quality reduction. These are the effects on living beings. However, this rain deeply affects structures as well.
One of the most famous examples of the acid rain effect is the corrosion of the Taj Mahal. It is a very slow process. Hence, it is noticed only after a very bright change. The white marble on the structure has over the year turned out to become yellow in color. The clear reason is precipitation with a high ph. Along with precious structures, it corrodes water pipes as well. This may lead to leakages of heavy metals into drinking water. Thus leading to severe health effects on people who drink this water. The rain does not have a direct effect on human health. However indirectly it is very destructive to the environment. Hence, finally, it is a concern of the entire humanity.
In order to reduce the effects of this harmful rain, the govt has been working day and night. Indian states have tried to control vehicular emissions. Moreover, public transport is highly encouraged. Further, the authorities are also trying to control and regular industrial pollution. Let us hope that these combined efforts protect our joint global future. For more such topics for UPSC: click here.
We talked about the corrosion of the Taj Mahal. In addition to the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty has also undergone similar changes.
Firstly, it is a very happening topic. It is a global concern. Furthermore, it is a part of our environment and ecology syllabus. In addition to this, there is an overlap with geography. Hence, reading the topic can fetch you some good marks. Thus, you will score well in case there is a relevant question in the exam.
The ph of acid rain is around 5.6. Sometimes it can be worse than this leading to environmental degradation.
Editor’s Note | What is Acid Rain
Here, we will conclude our article. In today’s article, we talked about What is Acid Rain? Further, we discussed Acid Rain causes and effects. Then, we spoke about the ph of acid rain. In addition to this, we learned the overlap of the topic in diff papers. Hence, we tried to learn about both the man -made and natural causes of this rain. Then we studied how the rain affects aquatic and nonaquatic life. We also saw that the rain does not have any direct influence on man’s life. But it is very harmful to us indirectly. Hence, there are consorted efforts to eliminate the same.