Research shows rising frequency and size of thunderstorms in Africa following surface temperature rise
Recently published results of the study by Prof. Colin Price and Maayan Harel were cited at a The New York Times article
Research results from a recently published study by Maayan Harel and Prof. Colin Price at the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences indicate an increase in the incidence and extent of thunderstorms over the African continent which is positively related with rising surface temperatures.
The study, published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate, examined data collected over 70 years and examined its correlation to various environmental variables. The study found significant correlation with two main variables that enabled the development of an empirical model to predict the number and area of thunderstorm clusters over Africa on a particular day, month, or year. A significant correlation between thunderstorm occurrences and surface temperature show an increase as temperatures continue to rise. This is particularly evident with the rise in temperatures since the mid 1990s.
Thunderstorms cause damage around the world, especially in tropical areas, due to lightning, intense rains, hail and strong winds. The storms are causing human and animal deaths and economic damage in Africa. The worsening of the storms due to continued global warming is therefore of great significance that requires proper mitigation.