Tag Archives | Lightning


Lightning increasing with global warming

A new analysis of climate change models predicts a 50 percent increase in lightning strikes across the United States during this century as a result of warming temperatures associated with climate change. University of California, Berkeley, climate scientist David Romps and his colleagues looked at predictions of precipitation and cloud buoyancy in 11 different climate […]

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Radiation exposure from “dark lightning” quantified

Over the last decade, scientists learnt that thunderstorms are capable of generating brief but powerful bursts of gamma-rays calledterrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs). These flashes of gamma-rays are so bright they can blind instruments many hundreds of kilometers away in outer space. Because they can originate at the same altitudes at which commercial aircraft fly, scientists […]

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Ball lightning an ion discharge, contends Aussie scientist

No explanation of how ball lightning occurs has been universally accepted by science, but an Australian researcher thinks eye-witness accounts from airline pilots may offer an important clue. Previous theories have cited microwave radiation from thunderclouds, oxidising aerosols, nuclear energy, dark matter, antimatter, and even black holes as possible causes, but scientist John Lowke dismisses […]

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Satellite catches thunderstorm producing antimatter bursts

Astronomers using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in orbit above the Earth have detected beams of antimatter produced above terrestrial thunderstorms, a phenomenon never seen before. They believe the antimatter particles were formed in aterrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF), a brief burst associated with lightning and produced inside thunderstorms. “These signals are the first direct evidence […]

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Lightning unleashes potent radiation cocktail

Physicists have estimated that air travelers could be exposed to a dose of X-rays, gamma rays and high-energy electrons equal to that from 400 chest X-rays if their plane happens to be near a lightning discharge. The scientists, from the Florida Institute of Technology, University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Florida, say […]

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Laser Used To Get Thunderclouds Sparking

Using a powerful ground-based laser, European scientists were able to induce electrical activity in thunderclouds, a precursor to stimulating lightning strikes on demand. Optics Expressreports that the experiment was conducted at the top of South Baldy Peak, in New Mexico, where the laser pulses created electricity conducting plasma filaments in the clouds. The filaments were […]

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Study Of Runaway Breakdown Set For Lab

In recent experiments, researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology found that sparks generated in their laboratory produced x-ray bursts that were very similar to those created by lightning. High voltage sparks like lightning are known to emit x-rays and gamma ray bursts, although the mechanisms behind these emissions are still not clearly understood. Now, […]

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Terrestrial Gamma Ray Mystery Deepens

Scientists from Duke University have been studying the link between certain lightning events and the mysterious gamma ray emissions that emanate from the Earth’s own atmosphere. Their study suggests that this gamma radiation fountains upward from starting points at surprisingly low altitudes in thunderclouds. Interestingly, these strong gamma outbursts seem to precede the associated lightning […]

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