Today the environment we are living in, was not the same as when our parents were at our age. Earth’s climate is in danger due to a lot of man-made actions. Acid rain is one of those, and it is becoming an alarming issue for our environment.
No one would deny the harmful effects of acid rain. Toxic chemical gases produced by various types of industries, volcanos, lightning, forest fires, etc. are responsible for this sort of acidic rainfall.
If the damage continues, our future generation will live in the much-polluted earth than what we are living in today.
Read till the end of this article to know what should we do to prevent it and what should be your role in this combat.
Acid Rain: 6 Ways to Prevent
Now, let’s talk about some established measures that we can take to help prevent acidic rain. Some of these could seem a hassle and tiresome, but you got to act responsibly, don’t you?
1. Clean up Smokestacks and Exhaust Pipes
People burn coal, oil, and natural gas as fossil fuels to power almost all of the electricity in this era of modern technology. When fossil fuels are burned, it releases sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide into the atmosphere.
More precisely, coal accounts for most of the sulfur dioxide emissions. Also, it largely contributes to the emissions of nitric oxide.
Sulfur remains in a state of impurity in coal and forms sulfur dioxide when it reacts with air by burning coal.
On the other hand, nitric oxide is formed when we burn fossil fuels. The good news is that it is possible to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by using coal that contains less sulfur.
Furthermore, using ‘scrubber’ devices, it is possible to remove sulfur from the gases that leave the smokestack chemically.
Also, washing the coal reduces the presence of sulfur as well.
Instead of burning coal at power plants, burning natural gases will produce much less sulfur. Additionally, power plants can avoid burning fossil fuels by using advanced technology.
So, there are multiple options to choose from. Each of these emission reduction approaches has their costs and advantages.
For reducing the emissions from cars, catalytic converters will be beneficial to reduce nitric oxide.
These converters are fixed on the exhaust pipe system for reducing nitric oxide emission.
Improvement of gasoline with combusts cleaner is another option to reduce the emission of nitric oxide.
2. Using Alternative Energy Sources
Switching to alternative energy sources is one of the best ways to reduce acid rain.
Instead of using fossil fuels, we can use wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower and nuclear power.
Nuclear and hydropower are very expensive to produce.
Harnessing wind, solar, and geothermal energy systems are much more affordable and offer very efficient alternative resources of energy.
Countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are very successful examples of producing wind energy source for the rest of the World.
Developing countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are trying to improve their condition in producing solar energy system.
There are lot more other alternative energies such as batteries, natural gas, fuel cells to power automobiles.
All of these substitute energy sources have both the environmental and economic benefits and costs as well.
The sustainable energy sources can make a huge difference in the story of acid rain and to protect our future.
3. Restoring Damaged Environments
Acid deposition infiltrates intensely into the fabric of an ecosystem. It changes the chemistry of the soil.
Even if the emissions are reduced, and pH level is restored to normal, it would take many years for the ecosystem to recover from its deposition.
Acidified streams, lakes, forests, and soils might take years to even decades to heal. However, there are still things to do for bringing back streams and lakes quickly.
Use of limestone or lime can ‘cancel out’ the acidity from streams, rivers, and lakes. Countries such as Sweden and Norway are using this process widely.
The process needs to be done several times for the water to return from its acidic condition.
Nonetheless, it does not resolve the broader problems like changes in soil chemistry, forest health in the watershed.
This short-term remedy does not address the issue of visibility reductions and material damages.
However, for persisting the fish in a lake, liming does its job nicely. It lets the aquatic life forms to survive until emission is reduced.
4. Conserve Energy as Much as Possible
The most effective way to prevent acid rain from personal capability is to decrease your energy consumption.
Make sure you always turn off the lights when you leave the room. Do not forget to switch off your computer and TV when you are not using them.
Same goes for electrical appliances, turn them off while not using them. One of the largest consumer of energy at the house is heating and cooling system.
Use air conditioning only the time you need it. Turn down the heater’s thermostat before leaving home.
Try to invest in electric appliances with more energy-saving star ratings. It will save both the energy and your monthly electricity bill.
5. Limit The Usage of Private Transport
Make the habit to use public transport such as buses and trains. If you are going to a small distance, it is better for you to walk, or bicycle.
Do not purchase vehicles with high NOx emission system.
6. Your Part of the Duty
Even though acid rain seems like a huge problem to fight, but every small step can make a huge difference at the end of the day.
If every individual takes care of their roles correctly, the entire problem would seem small to handle.
Do your duty and do not even bother what others are saying. Make people aware of this problem and show them the way to prevent it.
The issue of acid rain should have global importance on it. There is still time for us to take steps to prevent the problem.
It is not fair to see that humans are generating more problems and being careless about solving them when it is going to affect them today or tomorrow.
Small steps carried by billions of individuals can make an impact and keep the earth’s environment healthy for the upcoming generation.