- /æsəd ˈreɪn/ (say asuhd 'rayn)
highly acidic rain, caused by pollution in the atmosphere.
Acid rain is formed when airborne pollutants from the burning of fossil fuels, and from industrial activities and vehicles emissions, as well as from natural events such as bushfires, undergo reactions with water vapour and other chemicals in the atmosphere to yield acids. Clouds forming in this air are therefore acidic, as is the rain that falls from them. Acid rain affects the balance of nutrients in soils, rivers and lakes, and so the health of vegetation, fish and other wildlife. It can also contaminate drinking water and air (by forming smog), and can corrode buildings and other structures. Laws curbing the emissions that contribute to acid rain aim to reduce the environmental and economic damage caused. Because there is more industrial activity in the Northern than the Southern Hemisphere, there are more acid rain problems in that hemisphere, in particular north-western Europe and eastern United States and Canada.
Australian English dictionary. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
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