Acid Rain

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Hello there,

We meet, this week..I have to talk about environmental problems..Actually, my full theme was..Water Resources and Environmental Problems but on the week 6th August-12th August, I have explained about the water resources and, I have chosen the environmental problems as this week issue..And guess what, the lucky issue was..ACID RAIN and GLOBAL WARMING!!!

For your information,the growing global demand for energy - especially energy from fossil fuels - has major environmental impacts. Two examples are the problem of acid rain, and the (much more serious) problem of global warming.

Acid rain is rain that has a higher than normal acid level (that is, a low pH). Acid rain may contain weak solutions of sulphuric, carbonic and nitric acids. Where it falls over a prolonged period it can cause damage to the environment.
Natural sources of these chemicals include volcanoes. However it is likely that human activity also leads to acid rain. Scientists believe that the main culprits are vehicle exhausts and the gases given off by power stations. Power stations that burn fossil fuels with a high concentration of sulphur - such as some untreated types of coal - are particularly responsible.

Without any further, I would like to list some important effects of acid rain. Some of the problems attributed to acid rain include:
  • Trees lose some of the protection in their leaves, leaving them more at risk from frost and diseases.
  • Tree roots may also become stunted, so they can't take up as many nutrients.
  • Soils lose some of their nutrients.
  • Increasing acid levels may cause problems for aquatic animals and plants.
  • Some fish may have trouble breathing for example. Acid rain may dissolve the stonework and mortar of buildings causing structural problems of buildings.
How the greenhouse effect works

It's thought that the build-up of greenhouse gases impacts on global temperature in two ways:

1. The gases allow more of the sun's rays to enter the atmosphere. Some solar radiation is still reflected back into space by the outer parts of the atmosphere, but it's believed the amount reflected back is gradually reducing.

2. At the same time, the greenhouse gases absorb more of the solar radiation that is reflected back from the earth's surface - trapping heat and keeping it in the atmosphere. Of course the ability of the atmosphere to capture the sun's warmth is essential for life on earth. But if significantly MORE warmth is being captured, this is bad news for the planet.

Another group of greenhouse gases includes the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs for short). CFCs have been responsible for depleting the ozone layer as they attack and destroy ozone molecules..
  • The ozone layer is a high level layer of gas in the stratosphere.
  • The ozone helps to keep out harmful ultra-violet rays which cause sun-burn on human skin and damage plants.
  • CFCs have been used in aerosols, such as hairspray cans, fridges and in making foam plastics.
  • The resulting ozone holes let harmful ultra-violet radiation in and adding to the problems of the Greenhouse effect and global warming.
  • CFCs were banned in many countries in the mid-1990s after it was found that they were breaking up the earth's ozone.
  • Scientists say the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica could disappear within 50 years

While, the implication of the global warming is very serious..such as,

  • Global warming could melt the world's ice caps and glaciers, leading to an increase in sea levels. Some scientists estimate that over the next hundred years sea levels could rise by between 10cm and 90cm - making many coastal areas around the world uninhabitable.
  • Global warming could also affect the weather patterns, leading to more droughts, flooding and extreme weather, such as hurricanes.
  • In Britain we are largely unaffected by the dangerous weather of the tropics, such as hurricanes or severe droughts. But some climatologists argue that the UK climate is changing as a result of global warming - with the possibility of more frequent floods, water shortages, and extreme weather conditions.

Energy efficiency

With energy consumption rising, it is important that industry, transportation and consumers in their homes use of energy more efficiently, so less is wasted.

  • We can all help by making changes to our lifestyles and our houses - for example by
    walking, cycling, or using public transport rather than fossil-fuel powered cars
  • Reducing the number of aircraft journeys taken (especially short-haul flights)
    using smaller more energy-efficient cars
  • Switching off lights, power sockets, phone chargers and TVs when not in use
    recycling and reusing plastics and oil-based products
  • Using energy-efficient light-bulbs and rechargeable batteries
  • insulating house rooves, blocking drafts, and using double-glazing and more efficient heating systems
  • Considering introducing solar panels, or switching to an electricity supplier that supplies green electricity

Okay then, I think that's all for now..hope to see you in the next theme which is, Eduction and Learning.