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Name: Seung-il K.
Status: student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001


Question:
I want to know about Acid Snow. What is different between acid rain and acid snow.


Replies:
Seung-il,

Precipitation of whatever form normally occurs on hygroscopic particles. These can be sulfate, salt, etc., that will dissolve in water. The type of particle inherently gives the droplet or snowflake an acidity or alkalinity; it is usually acidic. As rain or snow falls from clouds they remove other particles and gases that they run into, thereby absorbing other acidic particles and gases and becoming more acidic. The more that they collect, the more acidic they become. Snow, being mostly frozen water, is not as efficient a collector as rain, so snow tends to be less acidic than rain.

The typical pH (acidity) of rain in the Chicago area is 4.4 and of snow is 4.8. The lower the number, the more acidic the precipitation is.

David R. Cook
Atmospheric Research Section
Environmental Research Division
Argonne National Laboratory


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