Acid rain is a serious environmental problem. The principal cause of acid rain is sulfur and nitrogen compounds from human sources, such as electricity generation (from coal), and motor vehicles. Combustion of fossil fuels generates sulfuric and nitric acids, which fall to the Earth as acid rain and damage natural and manmade structures.
Acid rain has been shown to have adverse affects on forests, lakes, streams and soil, killing insects and aquatic life-forms as well as causing damage to buildings, monuments and rock and, has a negative impact on human health.
Scientists have noted a slowed growth of some forests. Leaves and needles brown and die off when they should be green and healthy. In extreme cases, individual trees or entire areas of forest die off without an obvious reason. Acid rain weakens trees by damaging their leaves, limiting the nutrients available to them and /or exposing them to toxic substances slowly released from the soil. It depletes minerals from the soil and stunts the growth of many other plants. Frequently, injury or death of trees is a result of acid rain in combination with one or more threats. High altitude forests are especially vulnerable as they are often surrounded by clouds and fog which are more acidic than rain.
Acid rain and the dry deposition of acid particles contribute to the corrosion of metals and deterioration of paint (cars) and stone (like marble and limestone). It also helps erode and decompose rocks. This significantly reduces the value of buildings, bridges and cultural objects (statues, monuments and tombstones). Monuments and sculptures made from marble and limestone are particularly vulnerable.
Winds can blow acid particles across state and national borders, sometimes over hundreds of miles.
When reviewing the following chart to determine how your transportation habits affect the earth, keep in mind the following:
Coal power plants are one of the most polluting, generating sulfuric and nitric acids while generating electricity. Solar power is renewable, can supply the world’s needs by capturing less that 0.02% of the solar power that falls on the planet’s surface, and emissions associated with generating electricity from solar technologies are negligible (so little they warrant no attention!) because no fuels are combusted. Electric cars (SUV EVs) are being driven today with batteries powered by the sun. Truly ZERO emission vehicles!
|Lifecycle Emissions* and Fuel Use per Mile for Gasoline and EV Passenger Cars|
|Conventional Car on RFG||Electric Car||Percent Reduction (increase)|
|Carbon Monoxide (CO) Total||2.906||0.113||96%|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Total||0.209||0.036||83%|
|Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) Total||0.212||0.778||-267%|
|Particulate Matter 10 (PM10) Total||0.047||0.077||-64%|
|Sulfur Oxides (SOx) Total||0.085||0.925||-988%|
|Greenhouse Gases (GHG)||473||384||19%|
Take Action to make change and save what we can for future generations. Below is just a small record of endangered places deteriorating day by day.