Climate change will significantly increase the frequency of thunder. This was stated by one of the latest studies published in the Journal of Science.
“The average thunder occurs twice per day in 2000, will increase to three times in 2100,” said David Romps, from the University of California, Berkeley.
It is feared that the increasing number of thunder will increase the number of forest fires, as well as chemical changes in the earth’s atmosphere.
The research team has developed a new method that studies the relationship between temperature and thunder. They estimate heat energy which might be a source of cloud power causing thunder.
“When the earth gets hotter, more and more lightning sources will be created. So it can trigger a thunderstorm, it will also get stronger, ” Romps added.
Romps and his colleagues calculated the addition of 1 degree celcius of the earth’s temperature, which would trigger a 12% increase in thunder growth.
They also validated these calculations with annual data obtained from the United States National Thunder Detection Network (US). Where the network will detect electromagnetic vibrations whenever thunder is seen in the US.
“The results were amazing,” Romps said. “The position and time of each thunder look very accurately recorded,” he added.
Thunder is believed to trigger half of the total cases of forest fires in the US. Every time thunder occurs it will also add to the gas element causing the greenhouse phenomenon to occur, namely nitrogen oxides.
“Thunder is the dominant source of nitrogen oxides in the middle and upper layers of the Earth’s troposphere,” Romps said again.
Only by controlling the amount of these chemical elements will it reduce the greenhouse effect, which is the cause of global warming and climate change.
Ramps added that the phenomenon of the increasing number of thunder can be said to be a warning of the impact if the earth continues to get hotter.
On the other hand, researchers from the British Met Office said it was very important to understand the trend of thunder growth in the future. But they underline the research procedures needed to make research data valid.
Met Office also added data on thunder events in other areas, will be very limited. Moreover, it is found that there will be erratic rain patterns in many areas.
If the earth does not continue to heat up until it does not reach an increase of 4 degrees Celsius in the 21st century, then it can be estimated that the number of thunder will reach an unnecessary amount. (Sulung Prasetyo/BBC)