Lightning and global temperature change

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Lightning is one of nature’s most beautiful and awesome sights. Yet it can also be extremely dangerous, presenting a major natural hazard in many different environments, from power utility companies to civil aviation, to golfers, and more. Thousands of people are killed every year by lightning bolts, while tens of thousands are injured (Cooray et al., 2007). Lightning impacts both our daily commercial and recreational activities. In the United States alone, damages due to lightning strikes amount to tens of millions of dollars annually (Curran et al., 2000). In recent years, with great interest in renewable energy, wind turbines have become extremely vulnerable to lightning damage (Glushakow, 2007). Furthermore, most commercial airliners are struck about once a year by lightning; however, due to the protective metal skin, generally little damage is incurred. Tens of thousands of fires are also ignited by lightning every year, generally in temperate or high latitudes (e.g., Canada, Siberia, etc.) (Stocks et al., 2002). In such cases, tens of fires can be ignited locally on the same day as a storm passes through, causing major problems for fire crews and fire management. Hence, knowledge of how lightning activity may change as the Earth’s temperature changes is of critical importance and interest.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Lightning Flash
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Pages861-878
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781849196925
ISBN (Print)9781849196918
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Atmospheric temperature
  • Daily commercial activity
  • Daily recreational activity
  • Earth temperature changes
  • Global temperature change
  • Lightning
  • Lightning bolts
  • Lightning damage
  • Lightning impact
  • Major natural hazard
  • Protective metal skin
  • Renewable energy
  • United States
  • Wind turbines

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