First study of cloud to ground lightning discharges using ground-based observations over Indian subcontinent and its possible relationship with carbon dioxide and aerosols (2023)

Table of Contents
Article preview Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics Abstract Introduction Section snippets Materials and methods Observations and discussions Conclusions Declaration of competing interest Acknowledgements References (43) J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys. Atmos. Res. J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys. Atmos. Res. J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys. Smoking rain clouds over the Amazon Science Ocean acidification may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans Nat. Sci. Rep. Lightning occurrences and intensity over the Indian region: long-term trends and future projections Atmos. Chem. Phys. Global frequency and distribution of lightning as observed from space by the Optical Transient Detector J. Geophys. Res. W. K.: effects of aerosols and relative humidity on cumulus clouds J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. Global triangulation of intense lightning discharges Geophys. Res. Lett. Mutual relationship between surface atmospheric pollutants and CG lightning in Tehran area Environ. Monit. Assess. Relative detection efficiency of the world wide lightning location network Radio Sci. Climate Change, the Physical Science Basis Performance assessment of the world wide lightning location network (WWLLN), using the los alamos sferic array (LASA) as ground truth J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol. Notes on state-of-the-art investigations of aerosol effects on precipitation: a critical review Environ. Res. Lett. Aerosol impact on the dynamics and microphysics of deep convective clouds Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. Relationship between aerosol and lightning over indo-gangetic plain (IGP), India Clim. Dynam. WWLL global lightning detection system: regional validation study in Brazil Geophys. Res. Lett. Breakdown characteristics of CF3I/N2/CO2 mixture in power frequency and lightning impulse voltages Plasma Sci. Technol. Cited by (0) Recommended articles (6)
ScienceDirect

RegisterSign in

ViewPDF

  • Access throughyour institution

Article preview

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Section snippets
  • References (43)
  • Recommended articles (6)

Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

Volumes 233–234,

July–August 2022

, 105890

Author links open overlay panelAdarshDubeaPersonEnvelopeAjeet KumarMauryabT.DharmarajaRajeshSinghc

(Video) Our Particulate Atmosphere: Aerosols and Black Carbon in a Changing Climate

Abstract

We report the first estimation of Cloud to Ground (CG) lightning activity over the Indian subcontinent. Initial results from the analysis of ground-based data of worldwide lightning location network (WWLLN) over the Indian region are discussed. The CG lightning density is analysed from the quality controlled WWLLN data for three years during 2009–2011. The lightning flash density (LFD) analysis is shown with high and low LFD regions spatially. The LFD is enhanced by 20% in year 2010 and 13% in year 2011 in comparison to LFD in the year 2009 over the eastern sector. Over the west coast (around geo latitude 200E) there is a 30% increase in LFD in 2010 and 17% increase in 2011. Over the Bay of Bengal, there is an increase of up to 66% LFD at few places in both the years. Aerosols and carbon dioxide (CO2) being the two most significant species in the Earth atmosphere responsible for atmospheric heating and convection are studied for the variations in their concentration during this period. There is an enhancement of 4ppm in the CO2 concentration over the study region in 2010 and 7ppm in 2011 corresponding to enhancement in LFD. The Aerosols concentration over Indian mainland has increased up to 50%. Over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal the aerosol optical depth (AOD) is found to decrease 25% where lightning flash density is found to reduce from the previous year. We find positive correlation between LFD-aerosols and LFD-CO2. Overall, there is an increasing trend of atmospheric temperature, LFD, aerosols and CO2. The cloud microphysical effect that may have been impacted due to increase in air temperature, AOD and in concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere is investigated with this study of lightning discharges.

Introduction

Lightning location systems have a variety of applications, such as to understand its science and safety of people in general. Here the scientific means of lightning can help to improve the understanding of complexities of global electric circuit (Volland, 1995). It can further support to track and forecast of severe storms. Patterns in seasonal and annually averaged lightning are being used to understand its role in global climate change (Schlegel et al., 2001). Knowledge of higher extent variation of lightning discharges, in areas with poor radar coverage, are useful to estimate convective rainfall as well as to predict flash flooding (Tapia et al., 1998). Forest fire management (Price and Rind, 1994), parameterization of weather forecast models and application of global lightning data in shipping are the areas where lightning studies is very useful (Lay et al., 2004).

Past studies show that lightning flashes over the oceans is increasing with the increasing levels of ocean acidification that is caused due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2 (Asfur et al. 2020). The CO2 in the atmosphere is used to estimate global temperature, which is a key factor in controlling the frequency of thunderstorms and hence a major cause for occurrence of lightning discharges (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007 and 2013,). Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 is exhibiting a continuing trend of increase. The increase in CO2 feeds the atmospheric heating and increase global warming. The global warming/heating result in increased convection (Price et al., 2009, Romps et al., 2014). The severity in convection results in generation of charged particles and thus initiates more lightning discharges (Wang, 2005; Yair, 2018; Thomas et al., 2021). Therefore, these factors are expected to further upscale the frequency and intensity of lightning discharges and thunderstorms and hence establishing a strong relationship between CO2 and lightning activity (Price et al., 2009; Romps et al., 2014; Yair, 2018)

Relationship between lightning activity and aerosols is quite well established (e.g., Rosenfeld et al. 2007; Khain et al., 2005; Zhao et al., 2006, Shi et al., 2020, Chakraborty et al., 2021). Depending on aerosol properties and atmospheric conditions, aerosols may enhance (Khain et al., 2005, 2009; Fan and Zhang, 2007) and thus, bring about a change in lightning flash rate characteristics. Most of the lightning frequency study is limited to the west central India, which reveals a decrease during the monsoon period relative to the pre-monsoon period. The cause of such reduction was accredited to low aerosol concentrations (Lal and Pawar, 2009). Chakraborty et al. (2021), recently analysed long term (1998–2014) lightning data from Lightning Imaging Sensors (LISs) aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite over Indian region. They have reported that the convective available potential energy (CAPE), and aerosol optical depth (AOD) control the lightning occurrence frequency. Here, it should be noted that the relation between lightning flash rate and aerosol is not well established and varies with the types of aerosols, its density (van den Heever and Cotton, 2007).

Among the datasets available for the studies of lightning discharges over land and surrounding oceans, WWLLN is evaluated to be three times more likely to detect a flash than LIS over the oceans (Rudlosky and Shea, 2013). Satellite lightning detection systems are equipped to monitor each point on the earth for only about 15h each year (Christian et al., 2003), and thus unable to make continuous real time observations. Ground-based lightning detection networks provide the real time observations that the satellite measurements lack (Orville et al., 2002).

Over the Indian region, the absence of ground based lightning locating system had limited the studies of lightning discharges. With the availability of quality controlled CG lightning data from the WWLLN network there is no impediment to its studies now. In this report we analyse the CG lightning discharges over the entire Indian region and the surrounding oceans. We also look into the variation of lightning discharges and the two major atmospheric parameters, atmospheric CO2 and AOD (aerosol optical depth). We discuss the possible causes of contrast in CG lightning discharges and the variation of atmospheric CO2 by virtue of climate feedback process. The comparison of increase in terrestrial lightning discharges is also shown with measurements of aerosol optical depth. The study is a pioneer to report cloud to ground (CG) lightning activity in the Indian subcontinent with the help of a globally geo-located lightning network.

Section snippets

Materials and methods

The lightning data in the present report is obtained from the worldwide lightning location network (WWLLN) (http://wwlln.net/). Lightning discharges around the globe are detected by WWLLN (http://wwlln.net) in near real time (Jacobson et al., 2006). Lightning discharges are detected by a time of group arrival (TOGA) technique with the help of very low frequency (VLF) wave receivers placed across the globe (Dowden et al., 2002). A central processor combines TOGAs to determine the source

Observations and discussions

In the analysis of the ground based lightning discharges WWLLN dataset for the year 2009, 2010 and 2011 we begin by scrutiny of lightning discharges in the Indian region of latitude 5° N–40° N and longitude 65° E-100° E. The occurrence distribution of lightning activity over the Indian region is presented. The advantage of the region under study is that it is a holistic approach in bringing out the contrast between lightning discharges in the adjoining open seas surrounding Indian coastline and

Conclusions

The study of Lightning activity covering almost entire Indian subcontinent is reported for the first time using observations from a ground based dataset WWLLN. The WWLLN data have an edge over the satellite based lightning detecting systems in terms of detection efficiency and spatial coverage (Hutchins et al., 2012). Past studies that report lightning discharges over certain parts of India could not focus on CG lightning discharges due to absence of ground based lightning data with better

Declaration of competing interest

The authors declare the following financial interests/personal relationships which may be considered as potential competing interests: Adarsh dube reports financial support was provided by Science and Engineering Research Board. Adarsh dube reports a relationship with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that includes: non-financial support. T Dharmaraj reports a relationship with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology that includes: non-financial support. Rajesh Singh reports a

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to the Director, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune for encouragement and providing basic amenities to carry out this research. The authors are also thankful to the Director, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai for lending support to this study. The author, AD is thankful to Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology (DST) for their support with funds (File no. PDF/2020/002004). The author, AKM thanks the

References (43)

  • E.R. Williams et al.Lightning, thermodynamic and hydrological comparison of the two tropical continental chimneys

    J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys.

    (2004)

    (Video) NDA Class #70 Current Affairs Grade XII

  • E.R. WilliamsLightning and climate: a review

    Atmos. Res.

    (2005)

  • K. SchlegelThunderstorms, lightning and solar activity—middle Europe

    J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys.

    (2001)

  • D.M. Lal et al.Relationship between rainfall and lightning over central Indian region in monsoon and premonsoon seasons

    Atmos. Res.

    (2009)

  • R.L. DowdenVLF lightning location by time of group arrival (TOGA) at multiple sites

    J. Atmos. Sol. Terr. Phys.

    (2002)

  • M.O. Andreae

    Smoking rain clouds over the Amazon

    Science

    (2004)

  • M. Asfur et al.

    Ocean acidification may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans

    Nat. Sci. Rep.

    (2020)

  • R. Chakraborty et al.

    Lightning occurrences and intensity over the Indian region: long-term trends and future projections

    Atmos. Chem. Phys.

    (2021)

  • H. Christian

    Global frequency and distribution of lightning as observed from space by the Optical Transient Detector

    J. Geophys. Res.

    (2003)

  • Dowden, R. L., Brundell, J. B., 2000, Improvements relating to the location of lightning discharges. Australia Patent,...
  • J. Fan et al.

    W. K.: effects of aerosols and relative humidity on cumulus clouds

    J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.

    (2007)

  • M. Fullekrug et al.

    Global triangulation of intense lightning discharges

    Geophys. Res. Lett.

    (2000)

  • M. Gharaylou

    Mutual relationship between surface atmospheric pollutants and CG lightning in Tehran area

    Environ. Monit. Assess.

    (2020)

  • M.L. Hutchins

    Relative detection efficiency of the world wide lightning location network

    Radio Sci.

    (2012)

  • Climate Change, the Physical Science Basis

    (2007 and 2013)

  • A.R. Jacobson

    Performance assessment of the world wide lightning location network (WWLLN), using the los alamos sferic array (LASA) as ground truth

    J. Atmos. Ocean. Technol.

    (2006)

  • P.A. Khain

    Notes on state-of-the-art investigations of aerosol effects on precipitation: a critical review

    Environ. Res. Lett.

    (2009)

  • A. Khain

    Aerosol impact on the dynamics and microphysics of deep convective clouds

    Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc.

    (2005)

  • D.M. Lal

    Relationship between aerosol and lightning over indo-gangetic plain (IGP), India

    Clim. Dynam.

    (2018)

  • E.H. Lay

    WWLL global lightning detection system: regional validation study in Brazil

    Geophys. Res. Lett.

    (2004)

  • Qiming Lin

    Breakdown characteristics of CF3I/N2/CO2 mixture in power frequency and lightning impulse voltages

    Plasma Sci. Technol.

    (2019)

  • Cited by (0)

    Recommended articles (6)

    • Research article

      Audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) studies across Aravali-Tural-Rajawadi geothermal zones, western Maharastra, India

      Journal of Applied Geophysics, Volume 198, 2022, Article 104579

      Thermal springs of Aravali, Tural and Rajawadi are located in the Deccan volcanic province (DVP) in the western part of Maharashtra, India and are covered by Deccan basalts. These springs run parallel to the Western Ghats and geochemical studies denote that these hot water springs are of meteoritic origin that emerge from basement rock.

      To understand the geoelectric structure and possible source zone of hot water springs, a 26-station audiomagnetotelluric (AMT) survey was carried out along E First study of cloud to ground lightning discharges using ground-based observations over Indian subcontinent and its possible relationship with carbon dioxide and aerosols (5)W profiles across Aravali, Tural and Rajawadi geothermal springs with a station spacing of about 1–1.5km. A 2D inversion was carried out jointly for transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) data after the distortion and decomposition analysis.

      These geothermal zones appear as high conductive zones at shallow depth and are associated with fault/fracture zones within the sedimentary basin. The basement depth increases from 1km to 2.5km moving from Aravali to Rajawadi geothermal zones. Volcanic plugs at a shallow depth beneath Tural and Rajawadi thermal springs act as a source rock for heat. Thus, hot water temperatures are higher for these two thermal springs relative to Aravali thermal spring, which is devoid of magma intrusion and related to circulation of meteoric water over basement.

    • Research article

      Spatial manifestation of resonant ionospheric signatures during the 11 March 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

      Advances in Space Research, Volume 69, Issue 8, 2022, pp. 3000-3007

      Resonant coupling between the solid Earth and atmosphere leads to higher amplitudes of normal mode oscillations at∼3.7mHz and∼4.4mHz frequencies. Earthquake is one of the potential solid earth sources which can trigger the terrestrial resonant coupling. The present study addresses the resonant ionospheric signatures during the Mw 9.1 11 March 2011 Tohoku-Oki Earthquake (Tohoku EQ). The Tohoku EQ ruptured off the eastern coast of Northern Honshu along a major 200km fault. We aim to characterise the spatial manifestation of resonant ionospheric signatures following the Tohoku EQ event. Our analysis demonstrates significant north–south asymmetry in spatial distribution of the resonant signatures encompassing the epicentre. This anisotropic behaviour has been scrutinised by referring to seismic and non-seismic parameters. The non-seismic parameters mainly of geomagnetic field-acoustic wave coupling and satellite observation geometry largely governed the ionospheric manifestations of seismic energy. This attempt elaborates the role of non-seismic parameters towards efficient understanding of the spatial manifestations of resonant ionospheric signatures during great earthquakes.

    • Research article

      Detection of the impact of a tropical cyclonic system on the dynamics and energetics of the atmosphere using wind profiler radar

      Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, Volume 235, 2022, Article 105896

      Rapid changes in the tropospheric circulation features associated with the overhead passage of the Gaja cyclonic system over the 205MHz Stratosphere Troposphere wind profiler radar observations at Kochi (10.03° N, 76.33° E), India, have been studied. The severe cyclonic system formed in the southeast Indian Peninsular region weakened into a depression after landfall near the Tamil Nadu coast. On 16th November 2018, the cyclonic system crossed the Western Ghats and travelled westward at 33 knots over the ST radar site at Kochi in the evening. Later it reached the Arabian Sea and intensified again into a severe cyclone. Continuous observations of the vertical structure of the wind pattern at 4-min intervals from the wind profiler radar have been examined. The impact of the transit of the cyclonic system extends up to a height of 13km in the atmosphere. The vertical distribution of turbulent kinetic energy in the atmosphere indicates a sudden disruption in the tropospheric levels at the time of storm passage. The cyclonic system traversed over the Western Ghats positioned at an altitude of 2500m. It crossed the radar site at the mean sea level after passing a horizontal distance of 100km. The abrupt changes in the topographical conditions generate atmospheric gravity waves in the leeward side of the Western Ghats, as observed from the ST radar, are presented. During the period, changes in surface parameters were evaluated using co-located automatic weather station (AWS) data. Satellite information and Doppler weather radar observations from Kochi have also supplemented the investigation.

    • Research article

      All-sky imaging observations of mesospheric fronts from Silchar (24.7°N, 92.8°E)

      Advances in Space Research, Volume 70, Issue 3, 2022, pp. 699-709

      An All-Sky Airglow Imager was operated at Silchar (24.68°N, 92.76°E), India from 9 to 11 December 2018, during a special observational campaign. We report the presence of two simultaneous mesospheric fronts observed in OH airglow emission propagating orthogonal to each other on the night of 9 December 2018, which was a rare and unique observational feature. A third mesospheric front was observed on 11 December 2018. Temperature and OH intensity measurements from SABER instrument onboard TIMED satellite were used to characterise the environment of the frontal propagation. Though one of the frontal structures resembled a mesospheric bore, the other frontal events do not satisfy a few of the requirements to be met for a bore. We also report the modulation of the OH emission layer by the passage of the mesospheric front on the night of 11 December 2018.

    • Research article

      On the F3 layer occurrence and drift over the equatorial location of Thiruvananthapuram

      Advances in Space Research, Volume 69, Issue 10, 2022, pp. 3717-3725

      A study has been carried out on various aspects of occurrence as well as vertical drift of F3 layer over the magnetic equatorial location of Thiruvananthapuram [8.5 0N; 77 0E; dip lat of 0.5 0N] in India for the period from 1990−2009 using ionosonde observations. Diurnally, F3 layer occurrence exhibits a double peak pattern with maximum occurrence in the pre-noon, followed by a broad peak in the post-noon hours. The F3 layer exhibits a seasonal pattern of occurrence which is prominent only during low solar activity periods. The solar cycle variability of F3 layer occurrence is brought out in the present study using data from solar cycle 22 and 23. Further it is clear from the present analysis that F3 layer occurrence is high during periods of lower geomagnetic activity with Ap less than 20. The present study brings out an important aspect that there is no significant difference in the occurrence percentage of pre-noon F3 layers during solar cycle 22 and 23, while the post-noon F3 layer occurrence increases during the deep solar minimum periods at the end of solar cycle 23. The role of Counter Electrojet and the ensuing thermosphere-ionosphere coupling processes are proposed to be the reason for the above stated features of occurrence. The seasonal as well as solar activity dependence of the vertical drift of F3 layers is also brought out. The influence of thermospheric winds in determining the drift velocity is revealed.

    • Research article

      Relationships between intense convection, lightning, and rainfall over the interior Congo Basin using TRMM data

      Atmospheric Research, Volume 273, 2022, Article 106164

      The lack of in situ observations across equatorial Africa creates forecasting challenges for regional populations affected by extreme weather events and makes accurate hydrological monitoring within the Congo Basin difficult. Due to the high mean convective intensity in this region, lightning observations may be particularly useful for improving satellite-based surface precipitation monitoring and forecasting. Therefore, this study aims to quantify the relative frequency of the most intense convective events in the Congo and their associated lightning – precipitation relationships through the analysis of high-resolution Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) radar and lightning observations for the years 1998–2013. Lightning and precipitation measurements associated with observed echoes were isolated and assigned to one of four categories of intense convective-stratiform echo types. Results show that only 2.7% of observed echoes were classified as intense convective-stratiform, yet they produced 36.6% of observed lightning flashes and 27.4% of estimated rain totals. Significant spatial correlations were also found between total rainfall and intense convective-stratiform rain (coefficient r=0.56). Linear relationships between lightning and echo rain rates are shown to depend heavily on the convective category. As a result, a simple linear regression cannot be made for all intense convective echoes. However, lightning can be used to retrieve a lower-bound approximation with respect to convective rain rates. Results suggest that if properly implemented, the addition of lightning data may help to improve or constrain satellite derived convective intensity and rainfall estimations.

    View full text

    © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Arline Emard IV

    Last Updated: 02/12/2023

    Views: 6029

    Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

    Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Arline Emard IV

    Birthday: 1996-07-10

    Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

    Phone: +13454700762376

    Job: Administration Technician

    Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

    Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.