Atmospheric Phenomena

Thunder and Thunderstorms

How do thunderstorms make our planet habitable?

Thunderstorms, of course, usually bring rain or other precipitation with them, which is needed for life on Earth. But other rain storms can do this as well. What makes thunderstorms particularly unique and important is their role in heat convection. Thunderstorms move warm air from lower elevations to upper elevations. The difference in temperatures between ground level and the top of thunderstorm clouds can be as much as 200°F (95°C). Causing this air and temperature circulation helps cool our planet by as much as 20°F (9 to 10°C). Without thunderstorms, therefore, we would already be experiencing global warming on a scale twice as bad as scientists are forecasting because of climate change.


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