Priya economy, acid rain prevents the growth of

Vontikommu Science Fair Part 1


purpose of this project is to compare how acid rain affects the growth of
brassica Rapa plants.  This is important
because in areas of high pollution, acid rain slows down the growth of plants in
areas such as china and India where farming is a crucial part of the economy,
acid rain prevents the growth of rice and other staples. As human population
grows, and industrial development continues to grow, the consequences of acid
rain on crops could be catastrophic to an economy.  At the same time, acid rain also impedes the
growth of regular plants resulting in less oxygen and more CO2 in the air.


If brassica Rapa plants are watered using 3 different pH levels of water (6.0,
4.0, 2.0), then the plants will grow and produce the most flowers with a pH
level of 6 because sulfuric oxide damages the plant’s roots and damages the
nutrients in the soil, so the plant won’t be able to produce many flowers and
the plant growth will be stunted.  

Review of Literature



all around the world suffer from pollution, whether its air, water, or noise
pollution. According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of people
living in urban areas, that are monitored, are exposed to air quality levels
that exceed the limits to keep healthy.  As
urban air quality decreases, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lunch cancer,
and chronic and acute respiratory diseases increase for the people live in the
area. Pollution not only affects humans, but also it has a major effect on
animal life. In the Artic, the sounds of oil and gas explorations are so loud
that sea life have had difficulty feeding and breeding. Light pollution
disrupts circadian rhythms for both humans and animals alike. Clean freshwater
is an essential part of healthy human life, but 1.1 billion people have no
access to water, and don’t have adequate sanitation. Water becomes polluted
from toxic substances, such as organic, inorganic, or even radioactive waste. Carbon
dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the main pollutant on earth. Though living things
emit carbon dioxide as they respiration, it considered to be a pollutant when
associated with humans burning fossil fuels such as gasoline and natural gas.
In the past 150 years, humans have pumped enough carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere to raise its levels higher than they have been for hundreds of
thousands of years. Industrial processes also emit particulate matter, such as
sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases Sulfur dioxide, a
component of smog, is a pollutant associated with climate change. Sulfur
dioxide and closely related chemicals are known primarily as the cause of acid
rain. Also reflect light when released in the atmosphere, which keeps sunlight
and causes the Earth to cool. Most of the sulfur dioxide released into the
environment come from electric utilities that burn coal. 


Brassica Rapa

Rapa is an annual species in the Brassicaceae (the cabbage or mustard family)
form which other vegetable varieties have been developed.  The species is thought to be from Europe
without many subspecies developed in Asia. The species is now found throughout
the United States.  The oil made from the
seed is sometimes called canola. The plant shows variation in growth, form, and
characteristics. Herbaceous plants grow from 8″-36″ with large plants being
highly branched in the upper half of the plant. Its flowers have both male and
female parts, and are grouped into clusters at the top of each stem. Flowers,
consisting of 4 yellow petals, are insect-pollinated. It generally prefers a
cool climate, with full sunlight, moist to dry conditions, and a neutral
alkaline soil containing gravelly matter. It is typically habitats include
cropland, weedy fields, roadside, and waste areas. It is resistant to frost and
mild freezes. Lower leaves are round and elongated growing up to 10″ long and
2″ across, but they are usually smaller. Upper leaves have a pointed tip, and a
widening clasping base.  Fruits are elongated,
two- parted capsule that splits open at the base to release the seeds, and they
are 1/16″ wide, nearly round, and reddish-gray to black. It is considered ripe
when it has turned yellow or tan and has split open to expose the seeds. It Researchers
at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have selectively bred one sub species
Brassica Rapa to have an extremely short lifecycle for educational and
experimental purposes.

III. pH level of Acid Rain

pH scale measures how acidic an object is. It has values ranging from zero (the
most acidic) to 14 (the most acidic). Clean rain has a pH of 5 to 5.5, which is
slightly acidic. However when rain mixed with sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide,
the rain becomes more acidic. Typically, acid rain has a pH of 4. A decrease in
pH values from 5 to 4 means that the acidity is 10 times greater.  The best way to measure pH is with a strip of
litmus paper. When you touch the strip of litmus paper to something, the paper changes
color depending on whether the substance is acidic or basic. Acid rain includes
any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric
acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere. It includes rain, snow, fog,
hail, or even just dust. It results when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are
emitted into the atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents.  SO2 and NO react with water, oxygen, and
other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids. Then mix with water and other
materials before falling to the ground. 
Major sources of SO2 include burning of fossil fuels, vehicles and heavy
equipment, manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries. Nitrous Oxide is
yet another gas that contributes to pollution on Earth. It has no color at room
temperature, but at temperatures above 70 degrees F, the gas becomes reddish brown
gas.  They are released into the air from
motor vehicle exhaust, or the burning of coal, oil, diesel fuel, and natural
gas. Exposure to nitrogen can cause genetic mutations, damage a developing
fetus, and permanent lung damage. The nitrate particles that result from NO2
make the air hazy and difficult to see through. It also contributes to nutrient
pollution in coastal waters. Winds can blow SO2 and NOx over long distances and
across borders making acid rain a problem for people all around the world, not
just people who live near electrical grids.


Previous Research

rain does not usually kill plants directly. Instead, it weakens the immunity of
plants by damaging their leaves, limiting their nutrients, or poisoning them
with toxic substances. Some types of soil can help to neutralize the acid –
they have what is called a “buffering capacity”. The main pollutants that affect
trees are nitrates and sulphates. Acid rain damages plant roots, and stops the
plant growth above the surface. Young rootlets and plants are typically very
sensitive to low pH, but more aspects of the plant can be harmed as well.  The nutritive value of soil is reduced to a
great extent because the acidity of the rain also leads to soil erosion by
dissolving the soil. Excess acid in soils can dissolve soil substrate, leading
to erosion, and the intake of toxic metals. 
 Aluminum is also produced, which
disables plants from getting water and vital nutrients, such as magnesium,
calcium, and potassium from the soil.  Also, the waxy layer of leaves, that protects
the plant from diseases, are damaged. This also effects the productivity and
the germination process. Leaves in mid growth that are the most vulnerable,
while older and younger leaves are more resistant to Sulphur dioxide. At high
elevations, acidic fog and clouds strip nutrients from trees, leaving them with
brown or dead leaves. The trees are then less able to absorb sunlight, which
makes them weaker and able to withstand other dangers.   The
effects of acid rain, combined with other environmental factors leave trees and
plants less able to withstand cold temperatures, insects and disease. Pollutants
also inhibit the trees’ ability to reproduce. It is also possible that plants
and soils may temporarily store pollutants. This disrupts the plant’s
physiological functions, especially photosynthesis.