Solar Activity Triggers Dangerous Lightning Strikes

Sun’s activity triggers lightning strikes

Streams of particles launched from the sun in the solar wind increase the number of lightning strikes on Earth by 32%

Dangerous Lightning Strikes
Lightning over the Dorset coast. The study is the first to implicate the solar wind in triggering lightning. Photograph: Alamy

Activity on the sun significantly increases the rate of lightning strikes on Earth, say researchers, making it feasible to predict when lightning strikes will become more frequent.

They discovered that when streams of high-speed solar particles strike the Earth’s atmosphere, the average number of lightning strikes increased by 32% for more than a month afterwards. The study is the first to implicate the solar wind – the stream of particles launched from the sun at over a million miles per hour – in triggering lightning, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists.

See also: What’s up with the square hole in the Sun?

Previous research had suggested the involvement of cosmic rays, highly energetic particles from deep space. In this scenario, the solar wind should protect Earth because it carries a magnetic field that was expected to deflect the cosmic rays, which would lower the rate of lightning strikes.

The new research shows the opposite effect. “We expected to see a decrease in lightning rates with the solar wind stream but what we actually saw was an enhancement. This caused us a bit of head-scratching,” said Chris Scott from the University of Reading, who led the study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

The researchers used weather data from the UK Met Office’s lightning detection system, covering the period between 2000 and 2005. They compared this with data from Nasa’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) spacecraft, which both measure the characteristics of the solar particle streams.

The results suggest that the solar wind helps accelerate particles into our atmosphere rather than deflecting them, but the exact mechanism remains unknown.

“The thing we need to do to prove this is to track the particles all the way through the atmosphere but that is quite challenging,” said Scott. Balloons at different altitudes could be used to carry appropriate detectors.

The researchers restricted their data to any event that occurred within a radius of 500km from central England. This opens the question of whether the effect is global or whether different regions of Earth will respond in different ways to the solar wind.

See also: NASA warns ‘something unexpected is happening to the Sun

Scott says he thinks they will. “We looked at Northern Europe because that’s where the detection system is located, but lightning in Africa is much more intense than over Europe.”

Lightning reaches temperatures of up to 27,000C, more than three times hotter than the surface of the sun. A 2008 study estimated that up to 24,000 people die every year from lightning strikes.

The hope is that the new findings could increase the accuracy of regional weather forecasts by linking solar wind events to the increased probability of lightning strikes. The solar wind streams return every 27 days as the sun rotates.

“We may be able to use data on the returning stream to say something about the severity of the expected lightning storms. It gives us a tantalising possibility for improving long-term weather forecasting,” said Scott.

Source | TheGuardian

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

Bill Gates Admits to Chemtrails

Bill Gates backs climate scientists lobbying for large-scale geoengineering ( Chemtrails ) Geo-engineers are finally coming out of the “chemtrail” closet, as reports are now...

Exxon, Suncor sued for stoking climate change

Coastal cities like New York and San Francisco have already started legal battles with oil giants for knowingly fueling climate change. Now, landlocked communities in...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

China Is Turning The Rainforest Into Cheap Furniture For The U.S.

Driven by American demand for cheap furniture, China has become the greatest importer of illegal timber. The...

China’s jaw-dropping progress at reducing CO2 emissions in just 4 months

China's reduction in CO2 emissions in just four months totals the entire greenhouse gases emitted by the UK over the same period Against all odds,...

Nothing to See Here, Just Freedom

Speaking of things blowing up in Texas—the home of the unregulated fertilizer plant and other such sophisticated pre-explosive devices made possible by a business-friendly...

Projects That Fight Global Warming

The Energy Department Just Announced $4 Billion For Projects That Fight Global Warming Fighting climate change and global warming is a big project, and encouraging...

Globalist Soros Exposed Funding Over 50 Organizations in Women’s March on DC

An investigation by a New York Times affiliate has revealed that billionaire globalist financier George Soros, who recently called Donald Trump a “would-be dictator”...

Tesla’s Anti-Gravity Research in Use in Dozens of Secretive Military Projects

Doctor Richard Boylan, and numerous others have already let the cat out of the bag when it comes to anti-gravity space flight, so why...

Maryland Makes History by Banning Bee-Killing Pesticide

Maryland just led the way to save bees from harmful pesticides by passing a bill to eliminate the use of neonicotinoids, a first for...

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

From Johann Hari, author of  ’Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs’ It is now one hundred years since...