Acidified particulate matter in the atmosphere that is deposited by precipitation on to a surface, often eroding the surface away. This precipitation generally has a pH less than 5and some times much lower depending upon the concentration of acidic components.
Acidic deposition principally by the pollutant gases such as sulphur dioxide (so2) and the nitrogen oxides cause acidic deposition. The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, forms Sulphur dioxide. that contain high quantities of sulphur; nitrogen oxides are contributed from various industrial activities and from car exhaust fumes. Acid rain is linked with damage to and death of forests and lake organisms in Scandinavia, Europe, and North America. It also causes damage to buildings and statutes. Even the cleanest rain is slightly acidic (measuring pH6), owing to the presence of dissolved carbon. However as sulphur dioxide dissolves readily in rain drops to form sulphur acid and the acidity can increase by as much as a thousand times. Acid deposition occurs not only as wet precipitation (mist, snow, or rain), but also comes out of the atmosphere as dry particles. or is absorbed by directly by lakes, plants and masonry as gases. Acid gases can travel over 500km/300 mi a day and therefore acid rain can be considered an example of transponder pollution. (Environmental Sciences). Both natural vegetation and crops are affected by acid rain. The roots are damaged by acidic rainfall, causing the growth of the plant to be stunted, or even in its The acid rain causes harmful elements like mercury and aluminum to be leached from the soil and rocks and it is then carried into the lakes where aquatic life may be affected . The effects of acid rain also inhibit plant germination and reproduction.
As the pH reaches 5.5, plankton, certain insects and crustaceans begin to die. At a pH of around 5.0, the fish population also begins to die. All living organisms are interdependent on each other.
If a lower life form is killed, other species that depended on it will also be affected. Every animal up the food chain will be affected. As a result the livelihood of people who depends up on fish and other aquatic life suffers.
Mankind depends upon plants and animals for food. Due to acid rain the entire fish stocks in certain lakes have been wiped out.. Eating fish, which may have been contaminated by mercury, can cause serious health problems.
Even buildings, bridges and other structures are affected. In cities, paint from buildings has peeled off and colors of cars have faded due to the effects of acid rain. From the Taj Mahal in India to the Washington Monument great buildings all over the world have been affected by the acid rainfall, which causes corrosion, fracturing, and discoloration in the structures. Lakes that have become highly acidic can be treated by adding large quantities of alkaline substances like quicklime, in a process called liming. But, it has not been successful where the lake is very large, making this procedure economically unfeasible.
The best approach seems to be in prevention. To this end environmental regulations have been enacted to limit the quantity of emissions released in the atmosphere. The people must be educated to reduce use of electric power.
Increasing awareness is very much necessary to solve this global problem. Pressure from people can make Governments enact suitable legislation, to ensure that industries keep their emissions within safe limits (google.com).