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USGS CMG InfoBank: Acid Rain

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Comment: 11:11 - 12:01 (00:50)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 15. Weathering and Soils
Keywords: "James Sadd", weathering, "chemical weathering", "parent rock", "industrial age", "carbon dioxide", "nitrogen oxide", "sulfur dioxide", atmosphere, "fossil fuel", forest, pollution, gas, rainfall, precipitation, "Earth's surface", "acid rain"

Our transcription: Weathering is essentially a process of destruction involving the physical and chemical breakdown of the parent rock.
But it's a natural process, one that's been active throughout geologic time.
With the advent of the industrial age, man has upset this natural balance by accelerating the weathering process.
The billions of tons of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide that we add to the air each year from the burning of fossil fuels and forests, creates far more problems for the atmosphere than sometimes turning it brown and making it unpleasant to breathe.
These gases combine chemically with the rain water.
In some cases, creating solutions that are hundreds of times more acidic than natural rain alone.
The effect of this caustic precipitation falling on the earth's surface creates a serious global scale environmental problem, commonly known as "acid rain."

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