Lightning Strikes Triple in the Arctic – Possible Source of Increased Wildfires

Geophysical Research Letters, March 22

Lightning strikes in the Arctic, potentially a source of increasing wildfires, tripled from 2010 to 2020, a finding researchers attributed to rising temperatures from global warming. The results suggest Arctic residents in northern Russia, Canada, Europe and Alaska need to prepare for this increased risk of wildfire and infrastructure damage. Lightning in the Arctic has previously been rare, as temperatures have been too low to create the thunderstorm conditions that normally result in cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. Residents have however reported more strikes in the northernmost latitudes, including researchers reporting several lightning strikes near the North Pole in August 2019. Arctic temperatures increased by an average of 0.3°C across the region from 2010 to 2020.

Compiled by Amy Imdieke