back to article ZZZAP! Climate change means getting hit by lightning is likelier

Lightning strikes are set to become more frequent if global warming resumes, according to a new study by climate scientists. In an extreme scenario where temperatures climb by 4 degrees Celsius, the increase could be as much as 50 per cent. "With warming, thunderstorms become more explosive," explains David Romps, climatology …


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  1. 45RPM Silver badge

    Aha - but have my chances of winning the lottery also surged?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly no, they remain less than 0.00000007 or to express it another way, your chances of being struck by lightning are now 28 times greater than your chances of winning the lottery.

    2. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

      if global warming resumes

      There-by hangs your problem.

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Do this in a lightning storm

    On a golf course, hold up your 1 iron, because as they say, "Not even God can hit a 1 iron!"

  3. Ilmarinen

    "the models predicted"

    yada yada ... we're doomed - "when you get ignition, it can go big time" says "Climate Scientist".

    1. Dave Bell

      Re: "the models predicted"

      The phrasing certainly seemed to come out of bad Hollywood disaster movies. A lot of energy, yes, but saying the atmosphere will explode leaves me expecting the imminent arrival of a time-travelling extra-terrestrial and a London schoolteacher.

  4. squigbobble

    An actual outcome of this...

    ...will be an increase in the number of wildfires started by lightning, esp. as the researchers claim that precipitation will not increase as much.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: An actual outcome of this...

      yes, but that wouldn't fit in with Lewis' predictable nay-saying.

      Yes as soon as I read the strapline I knew it was one of his articles.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: An actual outcome of this...

        He doesnt seem to be crowing about the oceans being the warmest on record...

    2. Ilmarinen

      Re: An actual outcome of this...

      This seems suspect. IIRC, lightning formation in cunims is a triboelectric effect caused by water droplets. If so, the ammount of rain ought to be proportional?

      Also, in the comming thermogeddon, there is supposed to be more water in the atmosphere so presumably more will be circulating as rain too.

      Perhaps I can get a bung from the EU to make a computer model to study this?

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: An actual outcome of this...

      Which with more wildfires, means more CO2 released... which creates another headache in that on Federal land here in the States, the fires are supposed to "burn out naturally" with minimal involvement unless life and structures are in danger. Thank the Greenie Wienies for pushing that bit of wildland management. Let 'em burn in the name of ecology or put them out in the name of Climate Change. I'm waiting for the various factions in the Greens to sue each other.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: An actual outcome of this...

        But also with more wildfires there will be more dust and soot in the atmosphere to block out the sunlight...

  5. Alistair

    Now. We. Have. The. Answer.

    As to why all superheros must wear a CAPE.

    /The one with the rotting vegtable matter

  6. codejunky Silver badge

    Your reading it wrong

    This wasnt an attempt at suggesting it is a bad thing but climate scientists trying to work out a way of keeping the lights on when their wind thingies aint spinning. Unless they are expanding their beliefs to incorporate a zeus like character who will show his wrath when we are belching too much Co2. I do wonder if they consider re-branding their many works into a fictional series or even comic books (their fans must love pictures of doom and hockey-stick graphs).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your reading it wrong

      It's a conspiracy I tell you. Traitors have been preparing by building large metal spikes with conductive carbon blades. If you plot their locations, you'll notice they form curious geometric designs, often intersecting ley lines. The most curious may apply Turing's Theorem to those patterns, consider what would happen when the pattern is charged and call a Code Blue. Spielberg did release a warning showing what may happen in a 'freak' lightning storm. The only thing that remained of humanity was their Laundry,, but are they listening?

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Your reading it wrong

      From the downvotes it looks like I upset the Thor fans. It wasnt intentional and maybe a hammer wielding god is the way they will go.

  7. Infury8r

    Another suitable scare-story for Harrabin, harbinger of doom.

    Risk of an adverse event doubling due to climate change. I await Aunty's disguised-plagiarism.

  8. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I can has more lightning please?

    Given that lightning is my favourite natural phenomenon and that london seems to actively repel/de-fuse/silently absorb them for some reason - I'd say: bring it on! The more, the better.

  9. scrubber

    Not in big cities...

    ...where lightning rarely reaches ground level due to the big tall metal things.

  10. |Rob|

    Climate article - missed point

    You've spectacularly failed to miss the point of the research and they made it so easy for you. The first sentence of the abstract was as far as you needed to get.

    "Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires"

    Absolutely nothing to do with being struck by lighting but that seems to be the focus of your article and your reason for dismissing the research as unimportant.

    1. billat29

      Re: Climate article - missed point

      OMG Lightning + Nitrogen = nitrogen oxides which also deplete the ozone layer. WAAAAAA!!!! We're doomed! Doomed, I tell you!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Climate article - missed point

      The point that is missed is that there is not one of the climate models that get anywhere near, let alone match, what is actually measured on the ground in real life.

      When they get to at least 60% accuracy then the modellers are just beginning to get them near working.

  11. Alistair

    And just because its *climate* issue.

    Oddly enough I suspect that it makes a better point.

    Even if they're still somewhat rabid on some issues.

  12. Chewi

    Extrapolate this?

    Can we extrapolate this and work out what year it will be when there's a 100% chance of getting struck by lightning?

    1. Mephistro

      Re: Extrapolate this?

      A measly 100% chance? I want to know when we reach a 200% chance!

  13. Terry Barnes

    "Others would point out that actually there has been no warming for the last fifteen years and more,"

    But those people would be science-ignoring idiots not fit to grace the pages of what is at least superficially a publication interested in data, science and evidence.

    1. Ilmarinen

      evidence, evidence...

      It don't look very warmey to my eye. But then it's only the eye of a science-ignoring idiot engineer, so what do I know?

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: evidence, evidence...

        If I stick a thermometer to your feet and then set fire to your head, how long would you continue to claim that there'd been no warming and that temperatures were remaining stable?

        Cherry-picking one data set does not constitute science. From the same site;

        1. Ilmarinen

          Re: evidence, evidence...

          Aaah - the old "cherry picking which question to answer" trick.

          Your link is to: "How do we know the world has warmed?" - I don't think anyone was disputing that it's warmer now than back in the 1850s.

          My link was to evidence that it ain't been warming much or at all in the last 15 years.

          Because you said that the people pointing out that there had been no warming over that period were "science-ignoring idiots".

          Is it that we have to ignore just the evidence that tends to falsify the AGW hypothisis?

          And I think that your anology is a bit silly too - I'd imagine it would be dificult to claim anything if someone were burning your head. I hope that isn't what you'd really like to do to anyone who disagrees with you :-)

          1. Rik Myslewski

            Re: evidence, evidence...

            How about if we look at some ... hmm .. actual data? According to just-released data from the Japanese Meteorological Association, this past October was the warmest since they began keeping records in 1890. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also released data today for October that reports global temperatures for that month to have been tied with 2005's for warmest since their record-keeping began in 1880.

            You Neville Chamberlains of climate denial can go back to your caviling now...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: evidence, evidence...

              Wait, so this October was tied with 2005, which proves that it's been getting warmer over the last 15 years? How exactly does showing the same temperature as 9 years ago prove that it's gotten warmer?

          2. Terry Barnes

            Re: evidence, evidence...

            "My link was to evidence that it ain't been warming much or at all in the last 15 years."

            Indeed but you missed off "if you only look at one data set - surface air temperature". If you were to look at - for instance - sea temperature, you'd see a very different picture. The Met Office themselves state that anyone who cherry picks that one piece of data and uses it out of context is being wilfully misleading, as in their published exchange with David Rose.


            I stand by it being idiotic to take the sum total of the research and efforts of thousands of people, look through it for one piece of data that when taken out of context appears to contradict global scientific concensus and then say "See! They're wrong!"

            " I hope that isn't what you'd really like to do to anyone who disagrees with you :-)"

            I don't mind at all people disagreeing with me. I am often wrong. Thankfully I am not a climate scientist and so your argument with this data is not with me at all.

  14. cray74

    So...something else much more likely to kill me than Ebola?

  15. itzman

    yebbut what happens if...

    the climate stays broadly the same, which is pretty much where the smart money is right now...

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: yebbut what happens if...

      "Smart money?" Uh, sorry, but no...

      Check out the since-1891 graph here. Dumb money on the "We're all gonna die tomorrow!" side would have looked at 1956-1963 and screamed for eco-hut-building and execution of gas-station attendants, while equally dumb money would have looked at 1963-1976 and argued that "We're in the clear!" and called for putting climate scientists in the stocks. And yet the overall multidecadal trend continues, unabated and unarguable.

      We've got a problem, folks, and it's one that needs to be faced. As I've argued before, it's time to grow a pair, stop being dupes of the fossil-fuel folks, and take care of some necessary — and admittedly quite challenging — business.

      1. Scroticus Canis

        Re: yebbut what happens if...

        ... we put all the climatologists, their large energy guzzling super-computers, the economists & politicians cashing in on the AGW scaremongering into a land fill (OK lots of them) and cover it/them in a fresh carbon capturing wood/forest?

        My guess is we would reduce CO₂, boring repetitive arguments, reduce the overpopulation problem (the real root cause), get some nice green park-lands back and save a shit load of money.

        PS: back on topic, lightning does not go ZZZZAP it goes bloody KABOOOOM!

      2. Ilmarinen

        Re: yebbut what happens if...

        @ Rik Myslewski

        Interesting data - but not scary "We've got a problem, folks" data.

        The October time series that you link shows a trend of 0.69K/century and also shows the "pause" in warming.

        October was warmer than last year, but February was colder. All the lines look prety much like random walks about a shallow trend line to me, i.e. quite different from the CO2 concentration trend line which IIRC only took off post war.

        This tends to falsify the CO2 -> CAGW theory because, if it were true, one would expect the two to track much more closely. It looks like CO2 is not the dominant factor, something else is causing the (gentle and beneficial) warming.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tired of this

    If everyone in the world puts their left hand in a bucket of green paint, then there will be a shortage of green paint.

    So we must start a campaign to educate people on the dangers of painting their left hand green.

  17. Mitoo Bobsworth

    And in other news

    Climate change means mind-numbing minutae about climate change from Lewis Page is likelier.

    "The planet is fine - the PEOPLE are fucked." - George Carlin

    1. Rik Myslewski

      Re: And in other news

      Ah, a fine (and accurate) line from that great sage, George Carlin — although, to be more inclusive, remember that we're not the only species that'll take it on the chin.

      Which brings to mind another Carlinism: "We're all fucked. It helps to remember that."

      1. Mitoo Bobsworth

        Re: And in other news

        Hi Rik,

        I beg to differ.

        Flora & Fauna have adapted & evolved throughout the existence of this planet and, I would posit, have withstood extremes from the universe than mankind could only inflict in it's imagination. No, humanity is not treating its home in a respectful manner, that much is evident. What tickles me is the tragically flawed & self centred assumptions of human ego - that it thinks, given the Earth's ancient & tumultuous history, it will have such a ruinous effect on the planet is (to me) ultimately self-serving & smacks of NIMBY syndrome. Nature doesn't give a shit - it's not afraid for itself, doesn't care about timelines or agendas and certainly will not be bothered by Homo Sapiens fractional contribution to its ever-changing being - it will roll along as it always has & always will - with or without our ultimately self-centred fretting. That's the certainty of Nature - and that is something I appreciate being a part of. That I'm a member of the human race just makes for a good joke.

        Here endeth the brief world-view of Mitoo - thanks for your interest.

  18. roger stillick
    Big Brother

    175 lightning storms each year= no problem...

    Except for that RS DX-302 needing a trip back to DFW factory for updated shottky clamps on new front end MOSFETS...added a co-axial lightning bug in the outside wall mounted Windom Antenna lead-in box w/2.5 mh transmitting rf choke as ant box static drain to a really good 6ga. ground wire n rod... RG-8u coax to receiver... so my SWL site works after each storm, and done.

    Caveiat= St.Elmos fire preceeds a strike, only saw that at Ft. Benning GA (green fire off fingers, almost an ACTS Ch2 experience)...RS.

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