What Causes Acid Rain?
Fossil fuels are plants and animals that have been buried in the ground
for millions of years. People use three types of fossil fuels to make
electricity: 1) coal, 2) oil, and 3) natural gas. Electricity is made
when these fossil fuels are burned.
A lot of power plants burn coal to make the electricity that we use
for our air conditioners, lights, TVs, radios, computers, and other things
that need electricity to work.
Burning coal puts different gases into the air. Some of these gases are
called sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. These gases mix with water
droplets and oxygen (another gas) to make chemicals called sulfuric acid
and nitric acid. These acids can fall to the ground in dust, rain, sleet,
snow, or fog, and can be harmful to people, forests, lakes, streams, buildings,
cars, and other objects.
Cars and Trucks
When cars and trucks burn gasoline (which comes from fossil fuels)
to make them move, pollutants that are called nitrogen oxides come out
of the tail pipe. When these gases mix with water droplets and oxygen
that are in the air, they make chemicals like nitric acid. These acids
can fall to the ground in dust, rain, sleet, snow, or fog, and can be
harmful to humans, forests, lakes, streams, buildings, cars, and other