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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Toxins that affect the environment are introduced, which is referred to as pollution. Any form of energy or substance can contribute to pollution (solid, liquid, or gas). Pollutants are the elements of pollution, which encompass both naturally occurring toxins and imported materials/energies. Even while natural disasters can lead to environmental contamination, the term "pollution" typically indicates that the toxins came from an artificial source or a source that was made possible by human activity. Point source pollution and nonpoint source pollution are the two basic categories of pollution. Nine million people died worldwide as a result of pollution in 2015. In 2019, efforts to combat pollution did not show much improvement, and this remained the case in 2020. 34 of these previous fatalities were caused by air pollution.

Volcanoes, which spew massive quantities of dangerous gases into the sky during eruptions, are one of the most significant natural causes of pollution. Volcanic gases include hydrogen sulphides, which can be fatal at concentrations as low as one part per thousand, carbon dioxide, which can be fatal at high concentrations and contribute to climate change, hydrogen halides, which can cause acid rain, Sulphur dioxides, which are harmful to animals and deplete the ozone layer, and hydrogen halides, which can result in acid rain. Fine and ultrafine particles, which may contain dangerous substances like arsenic, lead, and mercury, are also included in volcanic emissions. Another significant source of air pollution is wildfires, which are sometimes brought on by lightning. Suffocation-causing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are both present in large amounts in wildfire smoke. Additionally, there are a lot of tiny particulates in wildfire smoke that are harmful to animals' health.

According to a global climate study, acid rain limits global warming by lowering methane emissions from natural wetland areas. Acidic substances like sulphuric and nitric acid are carried by raindrops in trace amounts as a result of industrial pollution, which results in acid rain. In addition to killing fish and other species, contaminated rainfall can also harm plants, trees, and structures by upsetting the chemical equilibrium of rivers and lakes. According to a recent study, however, Sulphur in acid rain may have advantages that reduce global warming by preventing bacteria in wetlands from naturally producing methane emissions. It is estimated that methane is responsible for 22% of the greenhouse effect caused by humans. And the principal producers of it are bacteria in wetlands. They release methane into the atmosphere while feeding off peat's hydrogen and acetate as substrates.

Methane production will be further fueled by global warming because bacteria that are heated up produce more methane. However, the new model contends that industrial Sulphur pollution mitigates this.  This is because methane-emitting microbes are outcompeted for substrates by sulfate-eating bacteria, which are also present in wetland areas. According to experiments, sulphide deposits can activate the sulfate-eating bacteria, which can lower methane generation in small areas by up to 30%.

Entire Picture

Richard Betts, a specialist in climate systems at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in the UK, said the study "highlights the importance of including the complete Earth system in your climate model." "You need to consider how greenhouse gases combine with other effects on the biosphere." According to Betts, the research paints a more detailed picture of how this pollution affects the environment, New Scientist. But he points out that acid rain is still a significant environmental issue. The goal of the new study, which was directed by Vincent Gauci of the UK's Open University, was to ascertain how global wetland areas may be impacted by actual Sulphur pollution. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Gauci and associates developed a computer model to replicate this interaction. In addition to climate change models and data from wetland field investigations, the simulation used the most recent information on global methane emissions and Sulphur pollution. According to Gauci, "basically, we looked at where wetlands and acid rain coincide."

Global Warming vs. Acid Rain

The primary distinction between global warming and acid rain is that whereas acid rain is simply water droplets with chemicals like nitrogen oxide and Sulphur dioxide, global warming occurs when the Earth is hot and gases like carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. Depletion of the ozone layer contributes to global warming, while acid rain is produced by the combustion of fuels and Sulphur dioxide produced by power plants.

Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Global Warming Acid Rain
Definition Global warming is the rise in the planet's climate system's average temperature. Acid rain is a general term for any kind of precipitation, such as snow, fog, rain, and sleet, that contains high levels of H+ ions or has a low ph.
  • UV rays come 
  • Fossil Fuel Use 
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Volcanic emissions
  • Biochemical Mechanisms
  • Lightning
  • Threat to a particular ecology
  • Negative effects in some locations.
  • The soil's toxicity.
  • Plant breakdown of chlorophyll.
Indicators Sea level, ocean temperature, humidity, and many more variables. Mosses can be used to detect acid rain. Previous Name Crispa
Ways to Cut Back
  • Put an end to using fossil fuels, particularly coal, oil, and gas.
  • Develop new energy sources.
  • Avoid using gas (carbon dioxide, natural gas)
  • Tree plantation

What is Global Warming?

The current effects of global warming are dangerous to our environment. Rapid modernization, population expansion, and pollution are all effects of growing global warming. Global warming is suggested by the increase in the average surface temperature of the Earth during the past ten years. Because it harms the planet's ecosystem as a whole, global warming is bad. Flooding, famine, storms, and other issues are brought on as a result. This global warming is hazardous to life on the planet and has numerous causes and effects. The effects of numerous natural occurrences on every living thing around the earth are a clear sign of global warming. The most evident cause of global warming is sophisticated human activity such as industrialization, urbanization, deforestation, and agriculture. Increased emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, methane, and other greenhouse gases have been brought on by these human activities.

The serious issue of global warming has a big effect on how people live. Extreme global warming undoubtedly contributes to natural disasters. The significant emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is one of the factors contributing to global warming, which drives up temperatures. In the same way that volcanoes contribute to global warming by releasing too much CO2 into the atmosphere, one of the key factors contributing to global warming is the growing human population. This population rise has led to air pollution. The majority of CO2 emitted by automobiles stays underground.

Man-Made Causes of Global Warming


Plants are the main source of oxygen. By inhaling oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide, they maintain environmental harmony. Forests are being destroyed for a variety of home and commercial purposes. Global warming is the effect of the imbalance this has generated in the ecosystem.

Making Use of Vehicles

Using an automobile generates a range of gaseous pollutants, even over very short distances. As a result of a large amount of carbon dioxide and other toxins emitted into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are used in motor vehicles, the temperature rises.


Through the excessive use of air conditioners and freezers, humans have been releasing CFCs into the environment, which affects the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The ozone layer protects the earth's surface from the sun's harmful rays.

Natural Causes of Global Warming


One of the main natural causes of global warming is volcanic activity. Volcanic eruptions release smoke and ash into the sky, which has an impact on the climate.

Vaporized Water

One sort of greenhouse gas is water vapour. As the temperature of Earth is rising, there is more evaporation from the water bodies. This also contributes to global warming.

Permafrost Melting

There is presence of permafrost beneath Earth's surface. Permafrost is frozen soil that has been trapped in gases. This is found in glaciers. The gases get released into the atmosphere when permafrost melts which, in turn, raises the temperature of the planet.

What is Acid Rain?

The primary cause of acid rain, which is precipitation with a pH of 5.2 or below, is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere. Other names for acid rain are acid precipitation and acid deposition (NOx; the mixture of NO and NO2). Acid deposition can lower the pH of surface waters and destroy biodiversity in areas that are sensitive to it. It makes trees more vulnerable to damage from other pressures, such as pests, drought, and exceptionally cold weather. It also weakens trees. In acid-sensitive places, acid rain can also dissolve deadly amounts of aluminium that have been linked to rock and soil, depriving the soil of buffering elements like calcium and magnesium that are vital for plant growth.

"Acid rain" is the more technical word for "acid deposition," which refers to the various routes that acidity can take from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface. Along with other types of acidic wet deposition, acid deposition also includes snow, sleet, hail, and fog (or cloud water). When the weather is dry, acid deposition, often referred to as the dry deposition of acidic particles and gases, can have an impact on the landscape. Thus, even in the absence of precipitation, acid deposition can still have an impact on the environment and the local flora. Acid is eliminated from the atmosphere and spread across the ground when it falls to the surface as rain, snow, or mist. When this acid permeates the soil, it adversely affects numerous species of plants, animals, and aquatic life. Rainwater that drains into water sources like canals and rivers and mixes with seawater can have an impact on aquatic ecosystems.

When acidic pollutants interact with dust or smoke, they form dry particles that stick to the earth as well as other surfaces including buildings, automobiles, residences, plants, and landmarks. Acidic pollutants spread via the dry deposition process in the atmosphere. Acid rain is primarily caused by both natural and man-made factors. However, the main causes of acid rain are emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from the combustion of fossil fuels.

Causes of Acid Rain

Acid Rain from Industrial Activities

Industrial coal-burning power plants release nitrogen oxides into the air, where they react with water vapour or other substances like sulphur dioxide released during oil refining processes to produce nitric acids. These nitric acids then fall through clouds and come back down again, forming highly corrosive droplets that carry pollutants like lead or mercury onto surfaces below them. This causes acid rain, which is a global problem.

Acid Rain Resulting from Burning

Acid rain is mostly caused by human activity, such as driving a car or other forms of pollution from factories and industry, but other factors, such as forest fires, can play a significant role. For instance, if there is more ash falling, you will experience higher levels of acid rain.

Nuclear Radiation Causes Acid Rain

Due to increased levels of radioactivity as well as soil contamination with heavy metals like cesium-137 and strontium 90, nuclear fallout from nuclear weapons stockpiles is harmful to both animals living nearby and nearby plants. Radioactive elements such as uranium 238 also enter water supplies through precipitation, increasing the risk of leukaemia deaths in people who drink contaminated tap water.

Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain In Points

  • While acid rain refers to any rain that contains H+ ions and a pH of high or low, global warming refers to an increase in climate temperatures on Earth.
  • Acid rain is brought on by air eruptions, biological processes, and thunder, whereas global warming is brought on by UV radiation, environmental pollutants, and the burning of fossil fuels.
  • While acid rain negatively affects some settings and locales, global warming negatively affects some ecosystems, soil, and plants.
  • While mosses are a signal of acid rain, moisture, temperature overseas, and ocean level are signs of global warming.
  • Avoiding the use of carbon dioxide, and natural gas, and planting trees can all assist to lessen acid rain while ceasing the use of fossil fuels, especially coal, oil, and gas, can help to lessen global warming.


Currently, humanity is facing a serious issue. We must alter our behaviours and the already contaminated environment if we hope to stop further pollution. Both acid rain and global warming gravely damage planetary life. Since warming the bacteria encourages them to produce more methane, global warming will only lead to an increase in methane emissions. However, the new model contends that industrial Sulphur pollution reduces this. Acidic chemicals like sulphuric and nitric acid can be found in tiny amounts in raindrops due to industrial pollution, which causes acid rain. Contaminated rainwater can disturb rivers and lakes, killing fish and other wildlife.



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"Difference Between Global Warming and Acid Rain." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-global-warming-and-acid-rain-804>.

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