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Name: Jacqueline M Applin
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Question:
What are some of the effects of acid rain in some of the United States' major lakes? What is a high pH level? When is it dangerous? What causes acid rain to be created? How can we stop acid rain?



Replies:
Different lakes will have different pH's at which they function the best. This will depend upon the runoff and soil characteristics. Assumably, the organisms that grow in that lake are best suited to that pH. Acid rain causes pH to DROPage pH is a measure of free H+ (hydrogen ions) and acid rain brings H+ into the lake. A lake with limestone in its soil will be relatively resistant to acid rain because the carbonate in limestone neutralizes the acid. Other lakes may not be so resistant. Some organisms will be very sensitive to small pH changes and others will be able to handle large changes.

The pH of water in air is about 5 (slightly acidic) because the gases in air dissolve in it and cause it to be acidic. Acid rain is created when large amounts of sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides (gases from industry and from our cars) dissolve in water droplets in clouds and form sulfuric and nitric acid. The only way to stop it is to stop releasing so much sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air. The release of these gases has been cut drastically in recent decades due to new laws controlling the release of these gases.

Stacie M Clark



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