Dependence of the intensity of lightning strikes on global warming

It is a well known fact that global warming directly increases the chance that such natural phenomenons as tornadoes, storms and floods will occur. American scientists came to the conclusion in their research that global warming affects the frequency of lightning strikes as well. A 50% increase of lightning strikes all over the USA is predicted due to global warming.

Average lightning intensity chart for the period of 2005-2014 in 48 states of the USA

Graph of the intensity of lightning flashes on average for 2005-2014 in 48 US states


Changes in lightning intensity will affect the frequency of forest fires, human life and activities, and the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

For studies in this field, the thermal energy evaluation method is used, as such energy is a sort of "fuel" for thunderstorm clouds. It was concluded that global warming will be the reason for an increase in the volume of this fuel. A temperature increase of even one degree can lead to a 12% increase in lightning frequency. The reason for this is that storms will start to respond to the much greater amount of energy with much higher lightning frequency.

Studies of American scientists have shown that in 2100 there will be 3 lightning strikes for every 2 in the year 2000.

However, British experts do not agree with their American colleagues, as these studies did not take into account such factors as humidity and the potential of a thundercloud. That is why improvement and additional testing are necessary.

The results of the American scientists' studies are not applicable to other parts of the world in full due to the varying distribution of precipitation.