Does lightning have anything to do with global warming?



  1. 0 Votes

    Fundamentally, no.  Lightning occurs when heat causes water to evaporated and rise in the air.  The warm, moist air eventually reaches cold air, causing the warm air to rise faster, bringing the moisture with it. Eventually some of this water will be converted into ice crystals which will collide with liquid water particles by strong currents of air. This collision creates a static charge, causing some particles to be positively charged, and others negative. Positive charges move upward, while negative charges move downward. When enough negative charges reach the bottom of the cloud, they react to a positive charge, either in a neighboring cloud, or on the ground, thus creating lightning.  This is a fairly common and natural phenomenon. 


    This being said, there is some evidence that predicts that rising temperatures of the earth may increase these storms (climate change perhaps due to global warming), also increasing the number of lightning strikes in recent years, especially in tropical climates. The National Institute of Space Research (INPE) in Brazil has recently teamed up with NASA and other researchers to test this theory. 

  2. 0 Votes

    Scientists believe that as the global climate warms, severe storms and tornados may become more common. While initially, it was thought that increased rainfall would be the most significant change, but in the new climate models, the storms include severe thunderstorms and damaging winds. In regards to lightning specifically, scientists also think that the new storm patterns will increase the risk of forestfires, as regions in a warmer climate will become less humid and subsequently more vulnerable to fire catching from lightning strikes.

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