Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thick Haze+Rain = ?

Thick Haze+Rain=Sauna. No thanks to our neighbour, Indonesia. That's how I felt when I was walking back to my office just now. Now, not only does Indonesia deign to give us oxygen for 10 months of the year, and the haze the other two months, their haze, mixed with rain has raised the temperature of the environment. I thought that rain would dissipate the haze, but no, it has mixed with the rain to give us something more potent - acid rain. Well, I may have exaggerated. But this is how Google defines acid rain:

"rainfall made so acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, chiefly to forests and lakes. The main cause is the industrial burning of coal and other fossil fuels, the waste gases from which contain sulphur and nitrogen oxides which combine with atmospheric water to form acids." 
 I don't know if there are nitrogen or sulphur in the air now, I hope not. But if there are, it'll be a real concern.


Limpeh Foreign Talent said...

Time to a primary 6 science lesson.

The air you breathe in comprises of approx 78% Nitrogen. Oxygen only makes up about 21% and the rest are a mix of gasses like carbon dioxide, argon, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth

You don't need to be some kind of chemist or geologist to know that there is plenty of Nitrogen in every breath you take - this was covered in your PSLE syllabus. And if you can't remember what you learnt at school, that's what Google is for.

As the Google definition said, it is Nitrogen Oxides you should be concerned about, not Nitrogen per se. If you are interested in the chemistry aspects of it, you can have a read here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOx Again, this is probably covered in most secondary 3 or 4 chemistry syllabus.

As for sulphur, it is a solid at room temperature. Pure sulphur isn't what the article is referring to here, but sulphur dioxide, which is commonly associated with acid rain and is a product of burning fossil fuels.

And I have more bad news: there's plenty of both in the haze. You don't need to be a chemistry expert - you can taste the nasty acrid nature of the smoke with every breath you take.

Epilogos Blogger said...

Thank you for the primary school lesson. I swear I cannot understand what is taught in Primary Schools in Singapore nowadays anymore. I grew up in Primary Schools, in Singapore no less, when the most complex thing was that a lion is an animal, a cucumber is a vegetable and a potato is a root. H20 was a Secondary One discovery. ;-))