Recently, climate researchers conducted a new study stating, “If global warming continues, then the lightning strikes should be expected to become more recurrent. Within an extreme scenario where temps go up by 4 levels, the rise may be as much as 50%.”
David Romps, Climatology professor at Berkeley said, “Thunderstorms become more explosive with global warming. It is related to water vapor that is the fuel for explosive deep convection within the atmosphere. Global warming causes there to become more water vapor within the atmosphere, and when you’ve more fuel lying around, when you get explosion, it can go big time.”
Romps and the co-workers make their conjecture on the way forward of lightening by considering a factor referred to as CAPE – convective available potential energy – that is measured through the radiosonde balloons usually released over the USA to watch the weather.
“CAPE is actually a way of measuring how potentially explosive the atmosphere is, that’s, how buoyant a parcel of air could be if you got it convecting, should you first got it to punch through overlying air into the free troposphere,” states Romps. “We hypothesized the product of precipitation and CAPE would predict lightning … I was amazed by how amazingly well that worked out.”
These techniques produced the following results;
Normally, the models conjectured an 11% rise in CAPE within the United States per degree Celsius increase in global average temperature by the end of the twenty-first century. Since the models envisage little average precipitation increase countrywide over this era, the product of CAPE and precipitation gives in regards to a 12 % increase in cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per degree within the neighboring United States, or perhaps a roughly 50 % increase by 2100 if Earth sees the expected 4-degree Celsius increase (7 levels Fahrenheit) in temperature.
Lots of people think that global temps can and really should be avoided from growing any more than 2 levels Celsius, in which scenario there’d simply be one fourth rise in lightning strikes. Others would explain that there’s really been no warming during the last 15 years and more, so maybe there won’t be much of it this century and lightning strikes will stay in their current level.
However, presuming Romps and the co-workers are right and you will see 50% more lightning around 2100, what would that mean?
Well, the present possibility of an individual being struck by lightning in the United States is one in 700,000 in a year: that’s 0.0000014. Growing this by 50% brings it up to roughly 0.000002.
The study is published in major boffinry mag Science.