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February 1 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Acid rain is a complex environmental issue stemming from multiple causes, primarily rooted in fossil fuel activities.

It encompasses any form of precipitation, such as rain, snow, fog, or hail, containing acidic components like sulfuric or nitric acid, with detrimental consequences for the environment.

Formation of Acid Rain:

Acid rain forms when sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) combine with water and oxygen in the atmosphere.

This results in the creation of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and nitric acid (HNO3), which dissolve in water droplets to form acid rain, snow, or fog.

The typical pH of acid rain is around 4.2-4.4, making it more acidic than normal rain with a pH of approximately 5.6.

Causes of Acid Rain:

Fossil Fuel Combustion:

  • Burning fossil fuels, especially those rich in sulphur, releases sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
  • Vehicles, industrial processes, and power plants contribute to these emissions.

Natural Sources:

  • Volcanic eruptions and lightning also release sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

Air Pollution:

  • SO2 and NOx undergo chemical reactions in the atmosphere, forming sulfuric and nitric acids.
  • Combined with water vapor, they result in acid rain during precipitation.

Forms of Acid Rain/Deposition:

  • Wet Deposition: Acidic acids fall to the ground mixed with rain, snow, fog, or hail.
  • Dry Deposition: Acidic particles and gases deposit without moisture, affecting surfaces like water bodies, vegetation, and buildings.

Impacts of Acid Rain:

  • Aquatic Life: Disrupts reproductive patterns of aquatic species, leading to declines in fish populations.
  • Marine Water and Species Distribution: Alters marine pH, affecting the distribution and survival of organisms, particularly shell-forming species.
  • Physical Infrastructure: Causes deterioration and discoloration of structures and monuments, like the Taj Mahal, impacting architectural integrity.

Acid Rain Mitigation Measures:

Flue-Gas Desulphurisation:

  • Implemented in coal power plants to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by over 90%.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP):

  • Emergency measures to prevent further air quality deterioration, including vehicle regulations and air quality monitoring.

International Cooperation:

  • Initiatives like the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) foster global collaboration in monitoring and addressing acid deposition.

Way Forward:

  • Implement sustainable practices, promoting renewable energy sources.
  • Enforce stringent emissions regulations.
  • Foster international cooperation to combat acid rain and climate change.
  • Invest in innovative technologies to address environmental challenges.

Mains Question:

  1. Examine the multifaceted environmental challenges posed by acid rain. Discuss the efficacy of existing mitigation measures and the role of international cooperation in addressing this complex issue. (150 WORDS)


February 1
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: