Published: Nov. 13, 2014
By: Maria Vargas
By 2100 lightning strikes will increase by 50% if temperatures continue to rise due to the greenhouse effect. For every 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, researchers have found that lighting activity increases by 12%. Since lightning often causes wildfires, the outcome in the future would probably be increases in fire damage. Currently there are 25 million lightning flashes recorded yearly in the U.S. Researches predict future lightning patterns by first looking for factors that control the timing and location of lightning in the present day. After researchers complete this first task, they use climate models to estimate how these factors would change as global warming alternate climate and weather. Two factors that predicts 77% of geographic and time patterns seen in the U.S lightning strikes are precipitation and how we measure the atmosphere’s potential for creating towering clouds. Researches use metrics to predict future lightning storms and they do perform good approximations.