Nitric oxide (NO), which also contributes to the naturalacidity of rainwater, is formed during lightning storms by thereaction of nitrogen and oxygen, two common atmospheric gases(Equation 3). In air, NO is oxidized to nitrogen dioxide (NO2)(Equation 4), which in turn reacts with water to give nitric acid(HNO3) (Equation 5). This acid dissociates in water toyield hydrogen ions and nitrate ions (NO3-)in a reaction analagous to the dissociation of carbonic acidshown in Equation 2, again lowering the pH of the solution.


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