Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023

       

Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain

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Introduction

Rain is an act of true kindness from the almighty. Rain falls as water droplets on the Earth, offering incalculable benefits. It is beneficial to animal and plant existence since it provides water to all living things. Its excess is detrimental because it floods, destroying vegetation and human resources. Drought-like conditions and global warming would result if there was less rainfall.  Rain is necessary for life to exist on one hand, but it also brings harm in the form of acid rain on the other. Let us investigate acid rain and global warming in further depth.

Global Warming vs Acid Rain

The main difference between global warming and acid rain is that global warming occurs when the Earth is hot and gases such as carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere, but acid rain occurs when water drops contain chemicals such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide. The depletion of the ozone layer contributes to global warming, while sulfur dioxide produced by power plants and fuel combustion contributes to acid rain.

Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain In Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Global Warming Acid Rain
Definition It refers to the increase in the average temperature of the earth. It refers to any type of rain which contains fewer hydrogen ions and thus are acidic.
Causes Its main causes are the burning of fossil fuels and the greenhouse effect. Its main causes are biological processes, lightning, and volcanic eruptions.
Effects Its effects are imbalance in the climatic conditions and impact on the ecosystem. Its effects degradation of soil quality and harmful effect on biodiversity.
Indicators The most significant indicator is rising temperature and sea level. Mosses and lichens are good indicators of acid rain.
Prevention Reduce the use of fossil fuels and rely more on alternative energy sources. Reduce the release of harmful gases and more afforestation.

What is Global Warming?

The steady increases in temperature near the Earth's surface are known as global warming. This phenomenon has been observed throughout the last one or two centuries. This upheaval has disrupted the Earth's climate pattern. However, while the concept of global warming is divisive, scientists have produced evidence to support the reality that the Earth's temperature is steadily rising.

To address the difficulties, it is necessary to understand the detrimental effects of global warming. Global warming has serious effects on humans, plants, and animals due to a variety of variables. These elements could be natural or caused by human activities.

Manmade Causes of Global Warming

Deforestation:  Plants are the principal source of oxygen. They take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, which helps to regulate the environment. Forests are being drained to meet diverse residential and commercial purposes. It has caused an environmental imbalance, which has resulted in global warming.

Use of Vehicles: Even for a short distance, vehicle use produces a variety of gaseous pollutants. Vehicles utilize fossil fuels, which release carbon dioxide and other poisons into the atmosphere, causing a temperature rise.

Chlorofluorocarbon: Humans have been contributing CFCs to the environment through the excessive use of air conditioners and refrigerators, affecting the ozone layer in the atmosphere. CFCs have caused ozone layer depletion, allowing UV rays to enter the atmosphere and rising global temperatures.

Industrial Development: Climate change has caused the Earth's temperature to rise rapidly since industrialization began. Companies' dangerous pollution adds to the planet's warming temperature.

Agriculture: Farming releases greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These factors lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

Overpopulation: More people breathing means more people alive. Thus, global warming is exacerbated as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rise.

Natural Causes of Global Warming

Volcanoes: One of the most prominent natural contributors to global warming is volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions send ash and smoke into the atmosphere, which affects the temperature.

Water Vapour: Water vapour is a form of greenhouse gas. Climate change contributes to global warming by increasing the amount of water evaporating from water bodies and remaining in the atmosphere.

Melting Permafrost: Permafrost is a frozen soil beneath the Earth's surface that has held environmental gases for numerous years. It can be found in glaciers. As permafrost melts, gases are released into the atmosphere, raising Earth's temperature.

Forest Fires: Carbon is released from forest fires as smoke. When these gases are released into the atmosphere, the Earth's temperature rises and global warming results.

Effects of Global Warming

The following are some of the major consequences of global warming:

Rise in Temperature: The temperature of the Earth has risen dramatically as a result of global warming. It has accelerated the melting of glaciers, resulting in a rise in sea level. It might have disastrous consequences for coastal areas.

Threats to the Ecosystem: Coral reefs have been damaged by global warming, resulting in the extinction of plants and animals. Rising global temperatures have exacerbated the fragility of coral reefs.

Climate Change: As a result of global warming, climate change has happened. Droughts are affecting certain locations, while floods are affecting others. This climatic imbalance is due to global warming.

Spread of Diseases: Global warming alters temperature and humidity patterns. It has resulted in the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes. It has led to the movement of mosquitoes that carry and spread diseases.

Loss of Natural Habitat: Another significant effect of global warming on biodiversity is the loss of habitat. Due to these conditions, the creatures are forced to leave their native habitats, which results in many of them going extinct.

Prevention of Global Warming

With the negative consequences of global warming being felt all across the world, we must take steps to reduce global warming and safeguard the environment. Some popular preventative measures that can be taken include:

More recycling: The goal is to reduce the amount of CO2 discharged into the atmosphere. You can save up to 2000 pounds of CO2 each year if you recycle half of your household waste.

Drive less: Driving less is one of the biggest contributors to the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce your use of cars and instead rely on public transportation. When possible, try walking, biking, or carpooling. You will save one pound of CO2 if you minimise your driving hours.

Plant trees: Deforestation contributes significantly to global warming and climatic change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and regulate the climate, so planting them is beneficial. As a result, there is a pressing need to plant more trees, as each tree can absorb one tonne of CO2 over its lifespan.

Switch to renewable energy: Making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy like wind, solar, and geothermal is one of the most important measures you can take to combat global warming. Make use of renewable energy sources to power your home.

Use energy-efficient devices: You can cut energy usage and contribute to the creation of clean energy by investing in energy-efficient products such as bulbs, LED lights, or a solar-powered shower system. It is not only the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

Spread Awareness: Talk to your friends, family, and coworkers about global warming, its effects, causes, and what steps we can take to avert it. Make your concerns known on social media about climate change.

What is Acid Rain?

Acid rain is made up of highly acidic water droplets that form as a result of air pollution, especially the disproportionate levels of sulphur and nitrogen created by automobiles and manufacturing processes. This concept is frequently referred to as acid rain because it spans a wide range of acidic precipitation.

There are two types of acid deposition: wet and dry. Any precipitation that removes acids from the atmosphere and deposits them on the earth's surface is wet deposition. Dry deposition of harmful particles and gases stick to the ground through dust and smoke in the absence of precipitation.

Causes of Acid Rain

Sulphur and nitrogen particles combine with the rain's wet components to generate acid rain. Sulphur and nitrogen particles that mix with water can be found in artificial, industrial emissions, or natural, such as lightning strikes in the atmosphere, which release nitrogen oxides, and volcanic eruptions, which release sulphur oxide. Even if it is not clean, the rain we get regularly is still clean because water and carbon dioxide react to generate mild carbonic acid, which is not highly hazardous. Regular rainfall has a pH of roughly 5.7, making it acidic. The human activities that produce nitrogen and sulphur oxides into the atmosphere are the primary cause of acid rain. The wind carries nitrogen and sulphur oxides, as well as dust particles, away. They settle on the earth's surface after falling as precipitation.

Effects of Acid Rain

  • Agriculture, plants, and animals all suffer from acid rain. Acid rain impacts agriculture since it changes the soil's makeup. It depletes all essential nutrients for plant growth and survival.
  • It affects both animals' and humans’   respiratory systems.
  • Acid rain affects the aquatic life. It changes the chemical composition of the water to a state that is fatal to the aquatic life.
  • Acid rain also causes water pipe corrosion, which leads to the leaching of heavy metals like iron, lead, and copper into drinking water.
  • It causes damage to stone and metal structures and monuments.

Real-Life Case Studies

One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal, is being threatened by acid rain. Industries in Agra release sulphur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. People still use low-quality coal and firewood as a source of household energy, further aggravating the problem.

The production of calcium sulphate causes the corrosion of this beautiful monument. The copper Statue of Liberty, eroded by acid rain and oxidation for over 30 years, is now turning green.

Prevention of Acid Rain

  • The only way to avoid acid rain is to watch nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions.
  • Acid rain harms animals, vegetation, and historical sites.
  • As responsible citizens, we should be aware of the severe implications of nitrogen and sulphur compound pollution, as well as the industries that illegally dispose of these pollutants.

Main Differences Between Global Warming and Acid Rain (in Points)

  • Global warming refers to an increase in the temperature of the Earth's environment whereas Acid rain refers to any rain that contains high or low pH and H+ ions.
  •  Global warming is caused by UV radiation, pollution, and the use of fossil fuels whereas Acid rain is created by air eruptions, biological processes, and thunder.
  • Global warming harms ecosystems, soil, and plants while Acid rain negatively influences some environments and locales.
  • Moisture, temperature over oceans, ocean level, and others are signs of global warming, whereas mosses and lichens are markers of acid rain.
  • Stopping the use of fossil fuels, notably coal, oil, and gas, can help reduce global warming while avoiding carbon dioxide, natural gas, and tree planting can help reduce acid rain.
  • Global warming mostly affects the environment through pollution, which extracts harmful gases. On the other hand, Acid Rain primarily impacts a person's health, causing issues such as asthma, eye discomfort, and skin allergies.
  • The gases associated with global warming are mainly chlorofluorocarbons, whereas the gases associated with acid rain are sulphur and nitrogen oxides.

Conclusion

Acid rain and global warming are both exceedingly harmful to life on Earth. We can lessen acid rain and global warming by adopting the above options, which will be considerably more vulnerable in the future.

Mankind is currently facing a major problem. Not only must we clean up the already polluted environment, but we must also change our behaviours to avert more pollution. Acid rain and global warming are both extremely harmful to life on Earth. Warmer microorganisms produce more methane, so global warming will only increase methane emissions.

According to the new model, sulphur pollution from industry, on the other hand, reduces this. Industrial pollution contributes to acid rain, as it allows pollutants such as nitric acid and sulphuric acid to drift into the atmosphere. Polluted rainwater can upset the balance of rivers and lakes, killing fish and other species.

References

  • https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0034-4885/68/6/R02/meta
  • https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00139157.1972.9933001

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"Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 10 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-global-warming-and-acid-rain-1091>.



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