A Surprising Analysis: Lightning has Powerful Air Cleaning Properties - Craffic

Lightning, one of the most spectacular events of Mother Nature. After Franklin showed its electric nature with his famous lightning kite experiment in 1752. According to a new analysis of historical measurements collected from hurricane chasing airplanes in 2012, what may have previously been thought to be inaccurate may have a much more significant atmospheric cleanser. As we know, Lightning is one of the most incredible natural phenomenons.

It is a common occurrence during summer when the heat of the day is broken by strokes of lightning. Worldwide it’s estimated that it occurs 50 to 100 times a second the greatest concentrations of lightning strikes are in Central Africa, the Himalayas, and South America. It is often seen flashing between storm clouds in the earth; the bursts of light are pure electricity.

Scientists don’t fully agree on what causes the electric charge to be dispersed but it’s generally thought that it often occurs within the downdrafts and updrafts of thunderstorms lighter particles moving toward the top of clouds become positively charged while heavier particles heading toward the negative charge. When both grow large lightning is released between these regions.

Most lightning take place within the cloud but some strikes the earth in bold flashes in these cases the charges escape the cloud making a branching path that reaches for the ground the energy of the lightning strikes contains hundreds of millions of volts and lasts only a fraction of a second what seems to be a single flash is a series of return strokes of electrical energy reaching back up into the path reaches a temperature of around 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, this extreme heat creates the booming thunderclap as excessive pressure within the lightning path expands at supersonic rates on return strokes.


Is Lightning helpful in purifying Air?

Although as the Planets get warmer, thunderstorms and lightning strikes are becoming more common. Scientists thought upon this point by visualizing the lightning and its electric charges in air produce large amounts of hydroxyl and hydroperoxyl radicals. By bearing in mind lightning bolts never strike the ground, but setting a chemical reaction in the cloud.  The potential contribution of lightning (electricity) to air pollution has been recognized by scientists for a long time, there remains a large uncertainty about lightning strikes and electricity-generating nitrogen oxides in air quality models.

EPA research aims to reduce these uncertainties by assessing the impact of lightning-generating nitrogen oxides on air pollution in the agency’s Community Multiscale Air Quality Modelling System (CMAQ). The contribution of overall air quality changes to the production of electricity in atmospheric chemistry is determined by several interacting factors in atmospheric chemistry and is determined by the number of interacting factors in the atmospheric system, including the amount and locations of man-made air emission for the process of lightning.

That’s why researchers use innovative air quality models to understand the effect. While some of the air-scrubbing properties of lightning bolts are already well understood-particularly the manufacture of nitric oxide and hydroxide that can eject various greenhouse gases from the sky according to new research used.

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive, but it is lightning that does the work”

-Mark Twain.

According to research Texas A&M University researcher Renee Zhang helped lead a study on the effects of electricity and the results are outstanding. It may be responsible for 90 percent of nitrogen oxide in the summer as well an increase in ozone might be possible. As a 30 percent in the free troposphere, the area that extends 3-8 miles above the Earth’s surface. The study shows that the amount of ozone and nitrogen oxide created by human activities comes from the level of electricity.

The resultant good news is that “Lightning produces more oxidants which help clean the atmosphere level”, and The bad news is that “Lightning increases the generation of ozone which is not good for the environment.” In Short, Lightning is a mystery within itself. So, to unfold its interesting facts. Stay Tuned for the latest updates!


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