Focus on Acid Precipitation
Photo by Steve Schlachter reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0
At many times, in many places, lakes and forests can experience a surge in acidity causing an unhealthy environment whereby the fish and trees in that ecosystem will die. What is an acid? Where does this extra acidity in the environment come from? Why are some places more prone to acidity than others? In many cases, it seems that the source of the acidity is found in one area, while the environmental effects of the acidity are observed in another. In this section, acids and bases will be introduced in the context of this ‘extra acidity’ and the source of what is referred to as ‘acid precipitation’ will be traced. While understanding whole ecosystems is quite complicated, a decent foundation in acid-base chemistry and the calculations involved with a number such as pH can enable a person to understand the data involved and take part in the discussions required to solve the problem.
Refer to the information discussed in the previous Focus section as well as Part XI of this text and elaborate on the following focus boxes, solving any problems that appear.