The fire risk goes beyond rising temperatures and dry conditions.
Samuel Corum / AFP via Getty Images
More homes are burning in wildfires in nearly every Western state. The reason? Humans.
This high voltage experiment isn’t one you’ll be able to try at home.
Lightning doesn’t travel in a straight line, with many so-called ‘leaders’ coming down from the cloud in a series of jagged steps. Until now, no one has known why.
Simon Balson / Alamy Stock Photo
Lightning kills 24,000 people each year. Here’s how to stay safe during an electrical storm.
A large tundra fire burned near St. Mary’s, Alaska, on June 13, 2022.
BLM Alaska Fire Service/Incident Management Team/John Kern
Fires today are hotter and more destructive, thanks in part to a warming climate.
AAP Image/Supplied by Wilderness Society
Tasmania’s drying climate is seeing more bushfires ignited by lightning strikes. To protect the state’s World Heritage wilderness, we must use sustainable fire management practices.
Some trees explode into bits when lightning strikes. Some seem fine and die later. But others are unaffected.
Lightning storm over Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dr Carina Schumann, Johannesburg Lightning Research Lab, University of the Witwatersrand.
This tool can identify cause of death by fatal lightning strike in skeletonised remains.
Lightning during a monsoon storm in southern Arizona, Saguaro National Park.
Pete Gregoire, NOAA
Monsoons are weather patterns that bring thunderstorms and heavy rains to hot, dry areas when warm, moist ocean air moves inland. They’re challenging to forecast, especially in a changing climate.
Lightning on early Earth.
Lightning strikes may have helped spark life on Earth, and may be continuing to help life start on other Earth-like planets.
The method, using satellite data and other information, could reduce the work of fire forensics teams after bushfires.
Extreme wildfires can fuel tornadoes, creating erratic and dangerous conditions for firefighters.
David McNew/Getty Images
Persistent heat waves and dry lightning are part of the problem. For firefighters, the erratic behavior gets dangerous quickly.
‘Unknown Pleasures’ as you’ve never seen it before…
When you look at the squiggly lines on Joy Division’s famous album cover, you’re seeing a record of lightning in outer space.
Smoke billows from a massive bushfire in southern Tasmania.
Climate change is making Tasmania more vulnerable to brutal fire conditions.
There are many reasons to be careful when there’s a big storm. But there are also ways you can protect yourself to avoid lightning.
One one thousand, two one thousand….
When you see a bolt of lightning, do you immediately start counting to see how far off a storm is? An atmospheric scientist parses the practice.
Watch out for that cloud, Rey!
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Lucasfilm Ltd. / Everett
In Star Wars, ‘force lightning’ is a lethal weapon that can only be tackled with a lightsaber. But would it work in real life?
Scientists have finally been able to prove that thunder and lightning drive nuclear reactions.
Very powerful, try to avoid.
Lightning strikes are powerful – but we haven’t had solid estimates of their energy until now. Researchers turned to the hollow stone tubes they create by vaporizing sand for more precise calculations.
When Facebook goes down it’s an irritation. But as the world moves its data and processing to the cloud, the potential for major loss grows ever greater.