While acid rain may not cause unibrows, it can have severe, negative effects on trees and soils. When acid rain hits leaves and needles, it damages their surfaces. This impairs trees’ ability to reproduce and to withstand cold. When it soaks into soil, acid rain can deplete essential nutrients, weakening the soil’s ability to support plant life.
Acid rain also causes problems in rivers and lakes. Most aquatic animals can only live within a narrow pH range; if the water turns too acidic, they die. In the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, for example, acid rain has severely depleted brook trout populations.
In addition, some scientists suspect that acid rain might affect human health. The gases that form acids carry small particles and periodically release them into the atmosphere. Inhaling these particles can cause serious respiratory problems. Less importantly, acid rain can damage buildings, statues, and monuments. Calcium compounds in limestone, sandstone, marble and granite bond with acid to create gypsum, which wears away easily.