Adverse effect of acid rain on our environment :
(i) Effects on aquatic biota:
(a) Many aquatic species disappear due to the acidification of lakes.
(b) Acid rain reduces the production of phytoplankton in the lake.
(c) Many bacteria and blue-green algae are killed due to acidification.
(d) Activity of bacteria and many other microscopic animals is reduced in acidic condition. The result being that the dead materials and many other accumulated materials lying at the bottom of the lakes are not decomposed rapidly. Many essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are locked up and less available for use.
(ii) Effects on terrestrial eco-system:
(a) Leaves of plants and trees are damaged and become yellow and brown, retarding photosynthesis.
(b) Acid rain weakens the structure of trees, thereby making it vulnerable to pathogens.
(c) The reduction in photosynthesis results in reduced agricultural productivity.
(d) Many essential nutrients like Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mo, Co are leached out due to acid rain, hampering productivity. Due to solubilization of aluminum, nutrient imbalance in plants occurs.
(iii) Effects on buildings:
(a) Acid rain causes severe damage to buildings and structural materials of marble, limestone, etc. For example,
(b) Acid rain attacks monuments, statues, bridges, etc. This is one of the reasons why the Taj Mahal is in danger.
(iv) Effect on human beings:
(a) Solubilization of heavy metals like Cd, Hg, and Cr due to acid water may reach human body via the plants and animal in the food chain or through drinking water supplies.
(b) Acid rain causes respiratory and skin diseases and may attack nervous system in the extreme case.