Study finds as world warms, US gets more lightning

Nov 13, 2014 1:44 PM by News Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study says lightning strikes in the United States will likely increase by nearly 50 percent by the end of the century, as the world gets warmer and wetter.

Researchers used weather data to show just how much more often lighting strikes as air warms and rainfall increases.

They calculated that for every degree Fahrenheit the world warms in the future, lightning strikes will go up nearly 7 percent. That's 12 percent for every degree Celsius.

David Romps, an atmospheric scientist at the University of California Berkeley who led the study, said the key is that warmer air holds more water vapor. Water vapor is fuel for thunderstorms, sparking more lightning.

The study was released Thursday by the journal Science.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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