Acid snow falls in South Korea
Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 1:38 PM -
As if snow wasn't challenging enough, why don't you try adding a little acidity into the mix. That was the situation occurring in Seoul, South Korea.
The precipitation pH dropped down to 3.8 in some parts of the country. That places the snow somewhere between orange juice (4.0) and wine (3.5). The acidity plus the cold weather led to this event.
Acid snow, much like its warmer relative acid rain can be harmful to health, aggravating dermatitis or causing further skin problems.
More snow is expected to fall in the region but pH could go back up, leading to plain, boring snow.
What causes acid snow?
Acid snow is quite common in certain parts of the world. Like acid rain it is caused by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere. Both gases are quite common in today's world, especially in heavily industrialized countries.
Acid snow is usually less acidic than the rain variation due to the different structure of the precipitation. Rain usually falls in the low 4.0 range while snow is a little higher, but as shown in Seoul, that doesn't always have to be the case.