Why Is Normal Unpolluted Rain Water Acidic?

Written by lexa w. lee Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Normal unpolluted rain water is acidic because it contains carbonic acid, according to the Virtual Chembook of Elmhurst College. The pH or acidity of rainfall is typically less than 6, with 7.0 being neutral.

Other People Are Reading

Carbonic Acid

Carbonic acid forms when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves in water droplets. The clouds containing these droplets produce rainfall or other precipitation with carbonic acid. Human activities can further acidify precipitation.

Acid Rain

The term "acid rain" refers to rain that contains acids that form from man-made pollutants, including nitrogen and sulphur oxides. The pH of acid rain can range from about 4 to 5.5. Lower acidity is associated with more industry, power plants and cars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Measuring Acidity

Rain samples are collected around the country and their pH is measured to assess the distribution of acidity. Natural sources such as volcanoes, organic decay and phytoplankton also produce compounds like sulphur dioxide that can acidify rain, according to Tropical-Rainforest-Animals.com. The source of acid in rainfall is sometimes impossible to determine.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.