Of course we’d all like Earth issues to be front of mind year-round. Acid rain as featured in our Summer 2015 edition of Brainspace, is precisely the type of concern that can be reversed by humans. When teaching kids about *scary* issues like the harmful effects we are having on our planet, it’s critical to give them a sense of ability to become agents for change. Below is an experiment and an excerpt from our magazine feature that can help you address care of the planet in an empowering and effective way.
Acid rain erosion of limestone and marble can result in a loss of artwork (outdoor statues, monuments, plaques, etc) that cannot be recovered. This increases the cost of maintaining buildings. Ecosystems like lakes and rivers can become too acidic, which can kill fish and other water-dwelling creatures. This destruction results in a compromised food source for birds and other animals.
On the positive side, regions where the bedrock or soil contain large amounts of limestone are less likely to have polluted water due to acid rain. The limestone (which is a base) is able to neutralize acid rain before it gets into the lakes and rivers, in the same way the chalk in our experiment neutralized the vinegar. This means that damage due to acid rain depends on both the pH (level of acidity) of the rain and the type of soil/bedrock.
Take this experiment outside and let the Earth Day fun begin. Let us know in the comment section how your experiment goes.