posted by T. White on .
30, A: One atmospheric compound is responsible (after it has dissolved in water) for both the general acidity of normal rainwater and the acidity of much soil. What is this compound?
30, B: Is this compound put into the atmosphere solely by pollution?
30, C: Why doesn’t this compound cause seawater to become acidic?
30, D: If all of this compound were to vanish from the atmosphere, would humans benefit? Why or why not?
30, A: The compound is nitrogen dioxide.
30, B: No, the compound is known to be put into the atmosphere by volcanic activity and decaying vegetation.
30, C: It does not cause seawater to become acidic because seawater has a buffer capacity.
30, D: It would not benefit humans because nitrogen is necessary to create amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins and necessary for life while also compromising over 70% of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Since I'm not an expert on air pollution, I won't comment except for a couple of things. First, I think your answers are ok. NO2 seems to fit but I would have thought of other compounds before I thought of NO2.
Second, have you considered that there are other pollutants besides NO2? For example, both SO2 and CO2 are heavy pollutants (perhaps more so than NOx) and it was my impression that SO2 was the primary cause of acid rain although both NO2 and CO2, when combined with water, form acidic compounds also. Here is an article that attributes acid rain to SO2 and NOx as the primary causes.
I'm sure you can find a plethora of articles on Google about acid rain; just be careful when reading them as to the facts. Anyone can post anything on the Internet AND many of these posts contain more rhetoric than science.