New
New
Year 11
OCR
Higher

Acid rain and chemical weathering

I can describe how acid rain is formed and the effects that it can cause.

New
New
Year 11
OCR
Higher

Acid rain and chemical weathering

I can describe how acid rain is formed and the effects that it can cause.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The pH of rain water is naturally below 7.
  2. Chemical reactions between certain pollutants and water in the atmosphere may cause a decrease in the pH of rainwater.
  3. Acid rain is not as acidic as vinegar or citric acid that is found in lemons and oranges.
  4. Acid rain chemically reacts with carbonates that form many rocks to produce a salt, water and carbon dioxide.
  5. Acid rain can have long term effects on habitats and ecosystems.

Common misconception

Acid rain is immediately harmful to human skin. Acid rain's effects are quick and devastating.

Educate that acid rain is less acidic than household acids. Discuss the long-term ecological and structural impacts of acid rain.

Keywords

  • PH - pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration in a solution.

  • PH scale - The pH scale is a scale of acidity or alkalinity, often shown to be between values of 1 and 14. Below pH 7 are acids; numbers above 7 are alkalis, and pH 7 is neutral.

  • Acid rain - Acid rain is rainwater which has been made more acidic by pollutant gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

  • Chemical weathering - Chemical weathering is when rocks are broken down by a chemical change, for example reactions with acid rain.

Blow through a straw into water containing indicator to show how CO₂ makes rainwater naturally slightly acidic. A practical could be used showing how carbonates react with acids.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Equipment requiring safe usage.

Supervision

Adult supervision recommended.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following household products contain acid?
Correct answer: vinegar
Correct answer: lemons
Correct answer: orange juice
soap
Q2.
What is the pH of a neutral solution?
Correct Answer: 7
Q3.
When using universal indicator solution, what colour will a strong acid be?
green
blue
purple
yellow
Correct answer: red
Q4.
Match the acids names with their formula.
Correct Answer:nitric acid,HNO₃

HNO₃

Correct Answer:sulfuric acid,H₂SO₄

H₂SO₄

Correct Answer:hydrochloric acid,HCl

HCl

Q5.
Name a pollutant in the atmosphere which can produce acid rain.
Correct Answer: sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon dioxide
Q6.
Which of the following rocks are sedimentary?
Correct answer: limestone
Correct answer: dolomite
marble
Correct answer: sandstone
slate

6 Questions

Q1.
Which of the following pH values is normal rainwater likely to be?
4
9
7
Correct answer: 6
Q2.
How does the pH of acid rain compare to the pH of vinegar and oranges?
Correct answer: The pH of acid rain is higher than the pH of vinegar and citric acid in oranges.
The pH of acid rain is the same as the pH of vinegar and citric acid in oranges.
The pH of acid rain is less than the pH of vinegar and citric acid in oranges.
Q3.
Name an acid found in acid rain.
Correct Answer: sulfuric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, carbonic acid
Q4.
What is pH?
The measure of hydroxide ion concentration in a solution.
Correct answer: The measure of hydrogen ion concentration in a solution.
A scale of acidity and alkalinity.
When a solution is neutral.
Q5.
What is produced when a sedimentary rock containing carbonate compounds reacts with acid in acid rain?
salt + water
salt + hydrogen
Correct answer: salt + carbon dioxide + water
salt + carbon dioxide + hydrogen
Q6.
Which of the following are impacts of acid rain?
Correct answer: Organisms within aquatic food webs dying.
Corroding human skin.
Correct answer: Plants dying as they cannot absorb essential nutrients.
Holes forming in plastic outdoor equipment.
Correct answer: Chemical weathering of rocks.

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