Acid rain refers to rain which has been fused together to form a substance that contains a higher level of nitric and sulphuric acid than normal. These pollutants end up in the atmosphere due to exhaust gases released by vehicles and other gases released by industrial processes by companies. The normal pH value is considered between five to six, but when the pH value falls below this, it is considered as acid rain. When gases like nitric and sulphuric acid meet water molecules they react to form sulphuric acid and nitric acid. Volcano eruptions are also known to release chemicals that can cause acid rain to occur. The rapid rise of human activities is another reason for the growth of acid rain.
The effects of acid rain can be clearly noticed on water bodies such as lakes and streams. It can have adverse effects on fish and other wildlife. Acid can draw out aluminum from particles present in soil and bring these particles into water bodies. Higher the acidity present in the acid rain, higher the aluminum that is drawn out.
Most plant species and fish species have the ability to withstand moderate levels of acidity but a few are extremely sensitive to high acidic levels and this causes them to die off. Research has shown that most fish cannot hatch eggs below a pH level of 5. Even if they can withstand a lower pH value, the plants or fish type that they consume may not be able to survive. At high heights, the acidic mist is known to draw out the nutrients present on the leaves of trees, the end result being that the tree is left with brown or dead leaves. This in turn reduces the ability of the tree to absorb sunlight making them extremely weak. Acid rain is also known to have a corrosive effect on buildings, especially on buildings made with the use of limestone or limestone walls.
The acid rain reacts with the elements present in the limestone and leaves them weak. This is dangerous for limestone buildings and limestone walls which are required to have high strength.
Even building constructed using metal and vehicles like cars and trucks can be affected by acid rain. The acid rain can also form acidic smog which can reduce the visibility which can then have serious consequences for people driving and such. Wet acid rain does not have an effect on humans due to the acid being too diluted but when it is in the dry form it can be disastrous if inhaled for long periods of time.