There are many facts about acid rain; one fundamental fact is that it is comprised primarily of nitric and sulfuric acids. There are two types of disposition - wet and dry. Dry deposition means the acid falls in the form of smoke or dust; wet deposition falls in the form of snow, rain and fog.
The most common cause of acid rain is due to humans burning sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which react negatively to water and oxygen. These chemicals are typically released from factories, vehicles and power plants. In addition to human causes, dying vegetation and volcanoes can also cause acid rain.
Acid rain settles to the ground and contaminates lakes, fresh water systems, streams, wetlands and soils. In areas where soils have a low buffering capacity, the rain seeps into the soils and harms vegetation. It damages the leaves and needles on trees, and the acid deprives vegetation from receiving vital nutrients.
The chemical compound of acid rain can travel hundreds of miles once released into the air. Once the environment is contaminated, fish, birds and other animals are at risk for survival and reproduction. To help combat the effects of acid rain, governments are attempting to create emission laws and regulations for factories and other companies. Individuals can also help curb the affects by driving less and using less electricity.