Climate crisis effect? Arctic region witnesses massive 7,278 lightning strikes in 2021
In what can be called an effect of the climate crisis, the Arctic region seems to have been witnessing an unprecedented spike in lightning in 2021. Earlier, lightnings used to be rare in the region.
In 2021, Arctic region, which is the Earth’s northernmost, saw 7,278 lightning strikes. This count is nearly double of what had been witnessed in the last nine years combined.
These latest findings were published in the Finnish firm Vaisala’s annual lightning report.
This phenomenon is worrying scientists as the region’s air typically lacks the convective heat required to create lightning.
Vaisala’s meteorologist and lightning applications manager, Chris Vagasky, said, “Over the last 10 years, overall lightning counts north of the Arctic Circle have been fairly consistent. But at the highest latitudes of the planet – north of 80° – the increase has been drastic. Such a significant shift certainly causes you to raise your eyebrows.”
The temperatures have been consistently rising in the Arctic at a rate of at least three times the global average. So, tracking the lightning in the region seems to have become an important indicator of the climate crisis.
“Changes in the Arctic can mean changes in the weather at home. All weather is local, but what happens at your house depends on how the atmosphere is behaving elsewhere throughout the world. Changes to conditions in the Arctic could cause more extreme cold outbreaks, more heatwaves, or extreme changes in precipitation to Europe,” Vagasky said.