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Acid Rain – Individual PaperUsing knowledge of science in solving a problemEvaluate possible solutionsIn-text citation required DefinitionAcid rain is rain or another form of precipitation with a high concentration of acids which contains sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides that mainly result from the combustion of fossil fuels. It has a destructive effect on plant and marine life, buildings, et. (Collins English Dictionary, no date; CausesAcid rain is caused by multiple factors, and these include both natural sources and human activities. Overall, the impact of human activities on acid rain is more significant than natural sources. The amount of sulfate dioxide or nitrogen oxide natural causes release at one time may be larger, but the long-term effects human activity have are greater. For example, volcanic eruption releases a large amount of water and gases such as CO2, CO, SO2, HCl, etc which will then react with water vapor to precipitate as acid rain. Lighting bolts provide nitrogen and oxygen enough energy to react and create nitrogen oxide. Power plants release the majority of sulfur dioxide and much of the nitrogen oxides when they burn fossil fuels, such as coal, to produce electricity. EffectsAquatic environments, particularly streams and lakes are most affected by acid rain. Unlike the soils of forests which have the ability to buffer the acidity levels, water soils cannot neutralize the acidity in the rain; soils which have limited ability to neutralize acidic compounds. Differences in soil buffering capacity are an important reason that some areas receiving acid rain show damage, whereas other areas receiving about the same amount of acid rain do not appear to be harmed. Acid rain is very harmful to fish and other wildlife. Acidic rainwater can leach aluminum from soil clay particles and then flow into streams and lakes. As more acid is introduced to the ecosystem, the more aluminum is released. Most organisms are acid-sensitive and will be lost as the pH declines. Generally, the young of most species are more sensitive to environmental conditions than adults. Some types of plants and animals are able to tolerate acidic waters and moderate amounts of aluminum. But even if they can tolerate moderately acidic water, the animals or plants it eats might not.SolutionsEnvironmental Protection Agency(EPA)’s Acid Rain Program: The Acid Rain Program (ARP) was established as the 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments was passed by the congress. The fundamental goal of the program is to prevent or reduce acid rain, and therefore the program limits the amount of sulfur dioxide that power plants can release. In other words, major emission reductions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are required. ( project has shown significant progress, it achieved emission reductions, met environmental goals, and improved human health. The ARP introduced a system of allowance trading that uses market-based incentives to reduce pollution. Reducing emissions using a market-based system provides regulated sources with the flexibility to select the most cost-effective approach to reduce emissions. This method enforced businesses to follow the policy to increase their market share and gain benefits. According to the diagram and status provided by EPA, it is clearly shown that the amount of sulfate emitted has decreased in years 2009 to 2011 compared to 1989 to 1991. ( (amount of sulfur dioxide emitted from 1989-1991 to 2009-2011,, there are also negative aspects of ARP. First the foremost, the project is limited to the territory of America. To have an effect on the globe, the project should expand in terms of scale, reaching all countries and especially countries that are a major producer of sulfur dioxide and nitrate oxide. Thus, it has to be discussed in international communities and lead to taking action. Cleaner Cars, Green Vehicle Guide: This solutions suggests that people use environment friendly vehicles; it is differentiated with the previous solution (EPA’s Acid Rain Project) since the subject is not a particular community/organization, but individuals and vehicle companies. Vehicles are a major source of pollutants that cause acid rain, as it releases exhausts such as nitrogen oxide and the numbers of it keeps on increasing. Therefore, car manufacturers are required to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides and other pollutants released by new cars. Cars that produce less pollution and are better for the environment are often labeled as low emissions vehicles.

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