Current Lightning News and Events

Current Lightning News and Events, Lightning News Articles.
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Alaska thunderstorms may triple with climate change
Warming temperatures will potentially alter the climate in Alaska so profoundly later this century that the number of thunderstorms will triple, increasing the risks of widespread flash flooding, landslides, and lightning-induced wildfires, new research finds. (2021-02-23)

Oregon experiments find that electrical sparks are possible on Mars
Friction caused by dry Martian dust particles making contact with each other may produce electrical discharge at the surface and in the planet's atmosphere, according University of Oregon researchers. However, such sparks are likely to be small and pose little danger to robotic or human missions to the red planet, they report in the journal Icarus. (2021-02-19)

Researchers at Brazil's space institute discover why lightning branches and flickers
Analysis of the first super slow motion recordings of upward flashes suggests a possible explanation for the formation of luminous structures after electrical discharges split in the atmosphere. (2021-01-13)

Characteristics of severe thunderstorm and lightning activity in the Beijing metropolitan region
Severe thunderstorm is a kind of high-impact weather process producing lightning, heavy precipitation, hails, and wind gust, and still very difficult to be forecasted accurately up to now. A recent study published in Science China: Earth Sciences reported the characteristics of thunderstorm and lightning activity in the Beijing metropolitan region, and the result indicated that lightning data could be assimilated into the numerical weather model to improve the forecast of severe thunderstorm and heavy precipitation. (2021-01-12)

Wildfire risk rising as scientists determine which conditions beget blazes
As wildfires burn more often across the Western U.S., PNNL researchers are working to understand how extensively blazes burn. Their investigation, aided by machine learning techniques that sort fires by the conditions that precede them, not only reveals that the risk of wildfire is rising, but also spells out the role moisture plays in estimating fire risk. (2020-12-08)

Earthquake lightning: Mysterious luminescence phenomena
Photoemission induced by rock fracturing can occur as a result of landslides associated with earthquakes. Factors involved in such earthquake lightnings were studied with granite, rhyolite, pyroclastic rock and limestone. (2020-09-28)

California's creek fire creates its own pyrocumulonimbus cloud
On Friday September 4, 2020 at about 6:44 PM PDT the Creek Fire began in the Big Creek drainage area between Shaver Lake, Big Creek and Huntington Lake, Calif. (2020-09-08)

NASA's Terra Satellite reveals burn scars from California's two largest fires
On Aug. 26, 2020, NASA's Terra satellite was able to image the two areas in California where the fires have been most active and using the false color reflectance bands on the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Infrared Spectroradiometer) instrument aboard. Using these bands, the burned areas or fire-affected areas are characterized by deposits of charcoal and ash, removal of vegetation and/or the alteration of vegetation structure. (2020-08-27)

NASA's Terra Satellite shows smoky pall over most of California
More than 650 wildfires are blazing in California after unprecedented lightning strikes, storms, and a heatwave that has set new records in the state and NASA's Terra satellite captured the smoke-engulfed state on Aug. 24, 2020. (2020-08-24)

NASA's Suomi NPP satellite highlights California wildfires at night
Striking images of the California wildfires are seen in these nighttime satellite images taken by the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite on Aug. 20, 2020. At approximately 3:01 am PDT, NOAA-NASA's Suomi NPP was almost directly overhead and imaged the regionusing different bands on its VIIRS (Visible infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument. (2020-08-21)

Discovery lays blame on supernova for extinction event nearly 360 million years ago
Between a decline in biodiversity and a series of extinction events, the Late Devonian period was not the most hospitable time on Earth. And then came one or more supernovae explosions whose resulting ionizing radiation was the final push that spelled the end for armored fish, most trilobites and other life. (2020-08-20)

How airplanes counteract St. Elmo's Fire during thunderstorms
An MIT study finds windy conditions can weaken St. Elmo's fire, the phenomenon when electrically conductive structures spontaneously emit a flash of blue light, when it's generated by aircraft and other ungrounded objects. (2020-08-11)

Emergency visits for thunderstorm-related respiratory illnesses
Researchers used atmospheric and lightning data for all counties in the continental United States from 1999 through 2012 to see if increases in emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses among older adults happen in the days surrounding thunderstorms because vulnerable groups and those with common chronic respiratory diseases may be susceptible to the atmospheric changes caused by these storms. (2020-08-10)

Ammonia-rich hail sheds new light on Jupiter's weather
New Juno results suggest that the violent thunderstorms taking place in Jupiter's atmosphere may form ammonia-rich hail, or 'mushballs', that play a key role in the planet's atmospheric dynamics. This theory, developed using data from Juno's microwave radiometer by the Juno team, is described in two publications led by a CNRS researcher at the Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur/Université Côte d'Azur) with support from the CNES. (2020-08-05)

Ammonia sparks unexpected, exotic lightning on Jupiter
NASA's Juno spacecraft -- orbiting and closely observing the planet Jupiter -- has unexpectedly discovered lightning in the planet's upper atmosphere, according to a multi-institutional study led by the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). (2020-08-05)

Lightning strikes more than 100 million times per year in the tropics
Tropical storms often begin with an impressive display of pyrotechnics, but researchers have largely overlooked the role of lightning strikes in tropical ecosystems. (2020-07-23)

Climate scientists increasingly ignore ecological role of indigenous peoples
In their zeal to promote the importance of climate change as an ecological driver, climate scientists increasingly are ignoring the profound role that indigenous peoples played in fire and vegetation dynamics, not only in the eastern United States but worldwide, according to a Penn State researcher. (2020-07-20)

Lightening data have more use than previously thought
The lightning data can serve as an indicator for hazardous weather phenomena and improve short-term forecasting, (2020-07-09)

Skyrmion dynamics and traverse mobility
In a study published in EPJ B authors N.P. Vizarim and C.J.O. Reichhardt from the Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, USA and their colleagues aim to understand how skyrmions behave in a substrate under dc and ac drives. (2020-06-19)

Gemini gets lucky and takes a deep dive into Jupiter's clouds
Researchers using a technique known as 'lucky imaging' with the Gemini North telescope on Hawaii's Maunakea have collected some of the highest resolution images of Jupiter ever obtained from the ground. These images are part of a multi-year joint observing program with the Hubble Space Telescope in support of NASA's Juno mission. (2020-05-07)

Telescopes and spacecraft join forces to probe deep into Jupiter's atmosphere
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based Gemini Observatory in Hawaii have teamed up with the Juno spacecraft to probe the mightiest storms in the solar system, taking place more than 500 million miles away on the giant planet Jupiter. (2020-05-07)

Electrical activity in living organisms mirrors electrical fields in atmosphere
A new Tel Aviv University study provides evidence for a direct link between electrical fields in the atmosphere and those found in living organisms, including humans. (2020-05-05)

Ancient Australian trees face uncertain future under climate change, study finds
Tasmania's ancient rainforest faces a grim future as a warming climate and the way people used the land have brought significant changes to the island state off mainland Australia's southeastern coast, according to a new Portland State University study (2020-03-03)

ETRI develops optical communications technology to double data transfer speed
Researchers in South Korea have developed a new optical communications technology that can transfer data in lightning speed. The new technology sends and receives twice as much data than conventional methods. It is expected to contribute to solving data traffic congestion in 5G networks. (2020-02-24)

How earthquakes deform gravity
Researchers at the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in Potsdam have developed an algorithm that for the first time can describe a gravitational signal caused by earthquakes with high accuracy. Tests with data from the 2011 earthquake near Fukushima show that the procedure could help to improve earthquake early warning systems in the future. (2020-02-21)

Very tough and essential for survival
The brains of most fish and amphibian species contain a pair of conspicuously large nerve cells. These are the largest cells found in any animal brain. Biologists at the University of Bayreuth have now shown that these Mauthner cells have unique functions essential for survival, the loss of which cannot be compensated for by other nerve cells. In addition, they have discovered that Mauthner cells remain functional for a long time without their cell bodies. (2020-02-13)

Study: Commercial air travel is safer than ever
It has never been safer to fly on commercial airlines, according to a new study by an MIT professor that tracks the continued decrease in passenger fatalities around the globe. (2020-01-24)

Human-sparked fires smaller, less intense but more frequent with longer seasons
Fires started by people have steadily increased in recent decades, sparking a major shift in U.S. wildfire norms, according to a new CU Boulder-led study. The research found human-caused wildfires are more frequent, smaller, less hot and occur over longer seasons than fires started by lightning. (2020-01-21)

Fiber-optic cables capture thunderquake rumbles
Underground fiber-optic cables, like those that connect the world through phone and internet service, hold untapped potential for monitoring severe weather, according to scientists at Penn State. (2019-12-11)

Thunderquakes make underground fiber optic telecommunications cables hum (audio available)
Telecommunications lines designed for carrying internet and phone service can pick up the rumble of thunder underground, potentially providing scientists with a new way of detecting environmental hazards and imaging deep inside the Earth, according to new research being presented today at AGU's Fall Meeting and published in AGU's Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. (2019-12-11)

High above the storm clouds, lightning powers gamma-ray flashes and ultraviolet 'elves'
Using instruments onboard the International Space Station, researchers have observed millisecond pulses of gamma-rays produced by thunderstorms, clarifying the process by which these flashes are made, and discovering that they can produce an ultraviolet emission known as an 'Elve.' (2019-12-10)

Bats may benefit from wildfire
Bats face many threats -- from habitat loss and climate change to emerging diseases, such as white-nose syndrome. But it appears that wildfire is not among those threats, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis. (2019-12-05)

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2019
ORNL story tips: An additively manufactured polymer layer applied to specialized plastic proved effective to protect aircraft from lightning strikes in lab test; injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, could protect a fusion reactor's interior wall from runaway electrons; ORNL will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Liane Russell on December 20. (2019-12-02)

NASA's terra satellite sees fire and smoke from devastating bushfires in Australia
The state of New South Wales (NSW) in south eastern Australia is continuing to experience devastating bushfires due to the dry tinder-like atmosphere in the territory: high winds, dry lightning and continuing heat. Approximately 69 fires are still raging in NSW according to its Facebook page and more than 70 are burning to the south in Queensland. And the summer has just begun in the region. (2019-11-13)

Using AI to predict where and when lightning will strike
Researchers at EPFL have developed a novel way of predicting lightning strikes to the nearest 10 to 30 minutes and within a radius of 30 kilometers. The system uses a combination of standard data from weather stations and artificial intelligence. (2019-11-08)

Chains of atoms move at lightning speed inside metals
A phenomenon that has previously been seen when researchers simulate the properties of planet cores at extreme pressures has now also been observed in pure titanium at atmospheric pressure. Chains of atoms dash around at lightning speeds inside the solid material. (2019-10-15)

Compute at the speed of light
A new way to achieve integrated photonics--a new device has been developed at the University of Delaware that could have applications in imaging, sensing and quantum information processing, such as on-chip transformation optics, mathematical operations and spectrometers. (2019-09-26)

Lightning 'superbolts' form over oceans from November to February
Lightning superbolts -- which unleash a thousand times more low-frequency energy than regular lightning bolts -- occur in dramatically different patterns than regular lightning, according to a new, nine-year survey of these rare events. (2019-09-09)

New wildfire models to predict how wildfires will burn in next 20 minutes
While it's impossible to predict just where the next wildfire will start, new Department of Defense-sponsored research from BYU's Fire Research Lab is getting into the microscopic details of how fires initiate to provide more insight into how wildfires burn through wildland fuels. 'We're aiming towards giving answers on how a fire might propagate in the next 20 minutes instead of the next two weeks,' said fire expert Thomas H. Fletcher, BYU professor of chemical engineering. (2019-09-06)

New insights into the origin of life
A famous experiment in 1953 showed that amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could have formed spontaneously under the atmospheric conditions of early Earth. However, just because molecules could form doesn't mean that the process was likely. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Central Science have demonstrated that energetically feasible interactions between just two small molecules -- hydrogen cyanide and water -- could give rise to most of the important precursors of RNA and proteins. (2019-08-07)

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