Acid rain is caused by air pollution. It occurs when toxic air pollutants bond chemically to water in precipitation, such as rain or snow, and is propelled back onto earth by the precipitation.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the primary causes of acid rain. In the US, about 2/3 of all SO2 and 1/4 of all NOx comes from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels like coal. Acid rain occurs when these gases react in the atmosphere with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form various acidic compounds in the forms of rain, snow, fog, or gases and particles.
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