This article is part of our “Youth Head Delegate Blog Series” — written by our YHDs!
By Kara Yeh
What is it?
I’m sure most of you have heard the term “acid rain” and had no idea what it was. Well, breaking it down to the bare bones, acid rain is when rainfall is made acidic by dry deposition. Dry deposition includes acidic gases and solid particles, both of which are commonly produced by factories or car engines. Today, there is an extreme amount of carbon emissions when we burn fossil fuels to fuel our cars. The carbon dioxide gas (CO2) from these emissions then quickly enters the atmosphere, where it reacts with water (H2O) to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) — resulting in acid rain.
Why do we care?
While acid rain naturally occurs from lightning storms, air pollution plays a larger role in the formation of acid rain. Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, there has been a 47 percent increase in carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, which is a significant amount! Acid rain affects not only us, but the buildings, environment, and other organisms that surround us. Buildings break down and rust faster due to the increase of ions in acid rain. Water, an essential for most organisms on Earth, is undrinkable in the occurrence of acid rain due to the low pH it has. As a result of the low pH, aquatic organisms and plants cannot survive and there is biodiversity loss as the ecosystem becomes dominated by acid-tolerant species.
How we can help?
As a caretaker of our environment, it is our responsibility to take action. Taking action can be in the form of advocation, volunteer work, or by reducing your carbon footprint. For example, doing something as simple as walking to school every day instead of taking the car would still have an impact on the environment! Even the smallest actions can have large impacts, so what’s stopping you from starting?