Acid rain is caused by air pollution. Burning fossil fuels causes sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides to be released into the atmosphere. Once in the atmosphere, it reacts with water to make the acidic precipitation we call “acid rain”.
Acid rain is caused by emissions of compounds of ammonium, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. The most important gas which leads to acidification is sulfur dioxide. Emissions of nitrogen oxides which are oxidized to form nitric acid are of increasing importance due to stricter control on emissions of sulfur containing compounds. The principal natural phenomena that contribute to acid producing gases to the atmosphere are emissions from volcanoes and those from biological processes that occur on the land, in wetlands, and in the oceans. The principal cause of acid rain is sulfur and nitrogen compounds from human sources, such as electricity generation, factories, and motor vehicles.
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