The words acid rain regroup all kinds of acidic precipitation, like snow and dew, and also dry deposit. The acidity comes from evaporated pollutants emitted in the atmosphere by industrial activities, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Carbon dioxide isn’t the greatest cause of it.
Because of wind, the acid absorbed by clouds is often redirected in other areas, which is unfortunate for the neighbors that see their real estate and buildings suffer from fast erosion, including important historical monuments like the Coliseum. This is the reason why some regions are more affected by it, even though they are not heavily industrialized. However, nature is a victim where the consequences are much harder to repair then the infrastructure.
Acid precipitation increases the acidity in lakes and streams and affects the lives of many depending on them. The contaminated water has a sterilizing effect as fishes become too weak to survive, and lose their capacity to reproduce normally. The precipitation deteriorates the health of forests by damaging plants and by attacking the roots directly. Trees turn grey and lose all their leaves, which make them incapable of photosynthesis. It also increases the acidity in the soil, depriving insects from essential nutrients.
The bottom line is that acid precipitation has harsh consequences at the bottom of the food chain (vegetation, insects and aquatic lives) and on the quality of the water, which completely destabilize the ecosystem. Its important to note that being on top of the food chain, our survival is dependent on the bottom’s wellbeing.