Lightning is one of the most dramatic weather phenomena, causing many fatalities as well as substantial loss and damage for example by forest fires, damage to electrical infrastructure and other sectors every year all over the world. On top, even more damage is caused by the storms which generate lightning. This direct link to convection makes lightning also a potentially valuable indicator to track and understand trends in storminess, particularly under climate variability and change. In addition, lightning itself impacts the global climate by producing nitrogen oxides (NOX), a strong greenhouse gas.
Number of lightnings
Global Lightning Distribution
Figure: Number of lightning strokes accumulated for the years 2008–2017, presented as strokes per year per square kilometer on a 0.1° × 0.1° global grid.
Source: Data are from the World Wide Lightning Location Network, and the map is an upgrade of the 0.25° × 0.25° global climatology published by Virts et al. .