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The Science Behind: Rain

Rain plays a very important role in our lives. I currently live in California and It hasn’t rained for months! Wherever I go, I see lakes and ponds that are deeply affected by the drought. I haven't realized how important rain is until now. Which is why I will explain what rain is and how it affects various species .

Rain is liquid precipitation. When clouds become saturated, it causes raindrops. Millions of water droplets bump into each other as they try to gather around in the cloud. When two raindrops bump into each other, they combine. As time passes on, water droplets get heavier and heavier. When the water droplets become too heavy for the cloud to withstand, they fall to the ground.

Raindrops condense around microscopic pieces of material called cloud condensation nuclei. Cloud condensation nuclei can be particles of salt, dust, pollution, and smoke. Also, as stated in the article by National Geographic, “When rain forms around certain types of pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the CCN reacts with water to make the rain acidic. This is called acid rain. Acid rain can harm plants, aquatic animals like fish and frogs, and the soil. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide can be released into the atmosphere naturally, such as through a volcanic eruption. These pollutants can also be released by human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels.”

Animal and plant life depend on rain. Rain is the only source of freshwater in places where rivers, lakes, or aquifers are not easily accessible. Rain provides water for agriculture, industry, hygiene, and electrical energy. People also collect rainwater for personal and public uses. Rainwater also contains more oxygen than tap water and when this kind of acidic water gets released into the soil, it helps release micronutrients such as zinc, manganese, copper, and iron that are essential to plant growth.

Now let's talk about if there was no rain for months or years. When little to no rain falls, plants can die because of soil drying out, the flow of water streams can decline, and water level can exponentially decrease in lakes. For us to prevent all of this to happen we need to help solve the problem of climate change.


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