Lightning storms less likely in a warming planet, study suggests | 2/12/2018 | Staff
Matty123 (Posted by) Level 3
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A thunderstorm above Unna, in Germany. Credit: smial/Wikipedia.

Lightning may strike less often in future across the globe as the planet warms, a scientific study suggests.

Research - Cent - Drop - Number - Flashes

The research forecasts a 15 per cent drop in the average number of lightning flashes worldwide by the turn of this century, if global temperatures are in the top range of forecasts.

A drop in the incidence of lightning strikes could impact on the frequency of wildfires, especially in tropical regions.

Incidence - Strikes - Infrastructure - Greenhouse - Contribute

It could also lower the incidence of lightning strikes to infrastructure and affect how greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contribute to climate change.

Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds and Lancaster University used a newly devised method to calculate the likely incidence of lightning flashes from storm clouds.

Calculations - Flashes - Scale - Height - Clouds

Unlike traditional calculations of lightning flashes at the global scale, which are based on the height of clouds, their approach takes into account the movement of tiny ice particles that form and move within clouds. Electrical charges build up in these ice particles, and in cold water droplets and soft hail formed inside clouds. These are discharged during storms, giving rise to lightning flashes and thunder. Scientists estimate...
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