MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: Is Basic(Base) Rain possible?

Date: Mon Feb 28 14:54:00 2000
Posted By: In Koo Kim, Grad student, Atmospheric Physical Chemistry, University of Colorado @ Boulder
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 951601956.Es

Absolutely.  Actually, you've mistaken bacisity with acidity.  Acidic 
solutions have pH below 7 and basic solutions have pH greater than 7.  pH 
is defined as the negative log of the hydronium ion (equivalent to H+) 
concentration -Log[H+].  Basic solutions are possible in our atmosphere 
mainly through the release or atmospheric production of ammonia, a Lewis 
Acid base.  Ammonia is released from anthropogenic sources (such as 
factories) or produced in the atmosphere through chemical reactions.  
Basic rain has been observed on the New England coast and in highly 
industrial areas such as mainland China.


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