Name: Jacqueline M Applin
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?
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
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
Click here to return to the Environmental Science
Update: June 2012