We all know that climate change affects temperatures around the globe. But did you know that the changing climate also contributes to the number of lightning strikes?

Check out: An Unexpected Side Effect Of Climate Change: More Lightning






  • parch – make or become dry through intense heat
  • sawmill – a factory in which logs are sawn into planks or boards by machine
  • precipitation – rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to or condenses on the ground
  • snap – a sudden, sharp cracking sound or movement
  • vapor – a substance diffused or suspended in the air, especially one normally liquid or solid; haze, mist, spray
  • coffer – a strongbox or small chest for holding valuables; the funds or financial reserves of an organization


 Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What happened in California two months ago?
  • What have people affected by wildfires feared most?
  • How will the frequency of lightning strikes change over the next 100 years?
  • What 3 sets of data was David Romps looking at?
  • What do the numbers 22,600 and 451 refer to?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word per blank space.

Berkeley researcher and lead author David Romps used three sets of data to show ________ warming and lightning strikes were linked. ________ looking at precipitation levels across the lower 48 states, measuring the intensity of storms, and analyzing radio signals ________ track strikes through the National Lightning Detection Network, he found strong ties between temperature and conditions ripe ________ lightning. The way Romps explains it, lightning needs all three states of water—liquid, gas, and ice—moving quickly in the atmosphere to create an electric field. When liquid water and ice swap electrons, they create a charge that translates ________ the snap of light we call lightning.

The warmer the air (thanks, greenhouse gases), ________ more water vapor the atmosphere holds, Romps says. And water vapor is “fuel ________ thunderstorms.”


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