Acid precipitation refers to any precipitation (rain, fog, snow), the acidity of which is higher than normal. It is currently believed that acid precipitation by 2/3 is due to emissions of sulfur dioxide and by 1/3 due to emissions of nitrogen oxides. Sulfur dioxide comes mainly (about 88%) from thermal power plants and industrial energy facilities, the remaining 12% is generated from the production of sulfuric acid and the processing of sulfide ores. Nitrogen oxides also enter the atmosphere from thermal power plants and industrial energy facilities (51%), as well as together with automobile exhaust gases (44%). Once in the atmosphere, these gases interact with moisture and form acids. Especially dangerous are emissions of sulfur dioxide, which dissolves in drops of atmospheric moisture and forms a solution of sulfuric acid. The sulfur dioxide transfer range is usually 300-400 km from the source of release, but sometimes it is found in sediments that fall even at a distance of 1000-1500 km from it. Acid rain has become a serious threat to the existence of forests. They increase the acidity of soils, negatively affect the condition of lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. Acidification of oceanic shallow waters becomes very dangerous, leading to the inability to reproduce many marine invertebrate animals. This threatens to break food chains and upset the ecological balance in the oceans. According to scientists, the reduction of acid precipitation by about 50% would allow to suspend further acidification of the environment. Since power plants emit most of the acid gases into the atmosphere, it is necessary to solve the problems of switching from coal to other fuels containing less sulfur, as well as the introduction of effective systems for cleaning gas emissions.
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