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Lightning Over Water

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When marine scientist Mustafa Asfur made a tiny storm in a box, he stumbled on a possible solution to a long-standing mystery: why bolts of lightning are brighter over the ocean than they are over land.

When Asfur and his colleagues first realized that saltier water seemed to be making brighter sparks, they went to the Dead Sea and brought back some water. Sure enough, that super-salty water spurred a super-bright spark. Asfur reran the experiment multiple times using fresh water, soil, and samples from the Sea of Galilee (barely salty), the Mediterranean (quite salty), and the Dead Sea (very salty). The results clearly showed that the saltier the water, the beefier the bolt. Discharges over Dead Sea water, which is about 680 times saltier than Galilee water, were nearly 40 times brighter. Flashes over Sea of Galilee water were 1.5 times brighter than over wet soil.

The team has an explanation. In water, salt splits into positive and negative ions that help conduct electricity. When lightning strikes, the more ions present, the more efficiently the electrical charge is drained from the cloud. That swift discharge causes a higher peak current and a brighter flash.

One evening, I was on the beach photographing the sunset out over the gulf (sunsets out over the water are a benefit the west coast of Florida enjoys). There had been some cloud activity and several layers of various clouds had entertained me and graced my sunset images. The cloud conditions continued to worsen after sunset.

I stuck around on the beach to see what happened as the last bit of light left the sky and soon all around me were thunderstorms at night. There were a total of three thunderstorms nearby and all three storms systems began producing lightning. I was ready with my camera.

I was leaving the shutter open for the extended period of time of around 30 seconds each shot to allow me to catch the lightning strikes without having to guess when they would occur moment-by-moment. My aperture, then, had the task of properly exposing the scene by properly exposing whatever lightning occurred in each frame.

In the image, a bolt reaches down from the low-hanging cloud formation to caress the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on the horizon. Its powerful light is reflected in the water leading towards the viewer.

Stay off and out of the water, and in a safe location for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. About one third of lightning-related casualties occur after the storm because people return to outdoor activities too soon.

Swimming, boating, personal watercraft or sail/surf boarding are all dangerous activities when lightning is in the area. Scientists know little about what happens when lightning hits water. It is not clear how deep a lightning strike will travel down through the water. We do know that if a lightning strike hits the water, it will travel along the surface in all directions. People have been killed or injured by direct or indirect strikes (ground current or side flash) while in or on the water, boats, docks, piers, or while fishing, for example.

Berlin: Road Movies Filmproduktion, 1980. Vintage oversize borderless reference color photograph from the 1980 film. With holograph ink annotations to the verso noting the film's title. An image and a film that was "meta" before the term was coined, let alone culturally over-saturated. Wim Wenders joins his friend and hero, director Nicholas Ray, in New York City to discuss Ray's dying wish to make a film about a painter with a terminal illness who sails to China to find a cure. A secret classic, and a loving tribute from one filmmaker to another.Shot in New York City and Poughkeepsie, NY. 12 x 10 inches. Near Fine. [Book #149338]

Bring your walls to life with Wall Monkey's Lightning over Water Wall Decal. Easily put up your vinyl decal and remove it without damaging your walls. We ship your wall mural in 1-2 business days, so you'll receive it fast. Find and choose the size for your space.

Over one region of the Earth, the team watched how cloud systems formed and what factors may contribute to lightning. They investigated how the amount of lightning changed with various amounts of differently sized aerosols in the air. Fine aerosols are smaller than 1 micrometer (left). Coarse sea salt is larger than 1 micrometer (right). These graphs show the lightning density, or the number of strikes per cubic kilometer. Those numbers are adjusted to account for the amount of precipitation in the cloud systems, which is an important factor in forming lighting bolts.

Both over the ocean and over land, an increase in small aerosols was linked to more lightning. That could be because such tiny aerosols form small water droplets that can rise high in the air, freeze and help make lightning. But an increase in the large aerosols often found over the ocean was linked to less lightning. This may be because hefty sea salt particles cause relatively large drops of water to form. These fall out of the cloud before they can freeze and electrify the cloud.

Researchers collected data on where and when lightning strikes occurred around the globe between 2013 and 2017. This heat map shows how lightning density varies across the world. The box in the center shows the area where scientists tracked cloud systems.

condense: To become thicker and denser. This can occur, for instance, when moisture evaporates out of a liquid. Condense also can mean to change from a gas or a vapor into a liquid. This can occur when water molecules in the air join together to become droplets of water.

Electrons behave differently in an atmosphere composed of methane and ammonia versus one made mostly of carbon dioxide and molecular nitrogen. It stands to reason lightning discharges would behave differently, too, which could affect the likelihood of prebiotic molecules forming on early Earth. Yet few people have modeled how lightning discharges vary in different atmospheric environments.

Such a rise in intensity could threaten the safety of marine life and oceangoing vessels alike, the authors of a new paper in Scientific Reports argue. But other experts in the field caution that this makeshift lightning in a beaker could behave very differently than real-world lightning in the atmosphere.

A 2019 paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres mapped the global distribution of a kind of lightning known as a superbolt, which is 100 to 1,000 times brighter than an ordinary lightning bolt. Researchers found that almost all superbolt hot spots were over oceans and seas, but they had no ready explanation for why that might be the case.

The team first measured how salinity affected the brightness of the spark, zapping water ranging from normal tap water to a salty sample from the Dead Sea. Sure enough, the sparks in the saltier beakers produced brighter flashes, the team reported in a study published last year.

Next, researchers turned their attention to another property of water that can change its conductivity: acidification. They used two methods of changing the pH of the water in the experiment by adding a strong acid and by bubbling carbon dioxide. Like salinity, acidification had a measurable impact on the brightness of the sparks. Surprisingly to the researchers, the spark intensity increased more than 2 times faster using the carbon dioxide bubbling method to lower the pH.

If lightning is, indeed, growing more intense over the oceans as climate change makes oceans more acidic, shipping vessels, oil rigs, and other ocean infrastructure might need to update their lightning protections. More intense lightning over the oceans could also produce louder booms that stress out sea creatures already harried by human noise pollution.

Williams also advised caution about applying the lab results to real-world lightning, which is not only much longer but at least 100 times more intense. Even so, he considers the new research to be valuable.

Frankfurt, Germany: Zweitausendeins, 1981. Hardcover. red cloth boards w/ narrow, vertical pictorial band. 351 pgs w/ color illustrations. Text in English and German. VG. corners lightly rubbed. covers have light edgewear. pgs tanned. pgs clean & unmarked. Item #176497 This copy is for the Wim Wenders, film industry connosier: Inside cover has a holographic sticker printed 'Compliments of Movielab.' Pasted onto the cover fly-leaf is a sheet protector containing a signed letter from Movielab executive John Kowalak and Norman E. Rinehart. Movielab was the film laboratory that processed the film.

Although the odds of being struck by lightning each year are less than 1 in a million, some factors can put you at greater risk. Lightning most often strikes people who work outside or engage in outdoor recreational activities. Regional and seasonal differences can also affect your risk of being injured by lightning.

Being indoors does not automatically protect you from lightning. In fact, about one-third of lightning-strike injuries occur indoors. Here are some tips to keep safe and reduce your risk of being struck by lightning while indoors.

Lightning strikes may be rare, but they still happen, and the risk of serious injury or death is severe. Take thunderstorms seriously. Learn and follow the above safety rules to keep yourself safe from lightning.

Lightning is a spark of electricity caused when two electrically charged regions neutralize each other. Lightning is often associated with storm clouds, which are turbulent masses of water droplets. In such clouds, water droplets that are drawn to the top of the cloud by updrafts freeze. When these are eventually pushed downward by a downdraft, the frozen droplets collide with uprising liquid droplets. As the ice and water collide, electrons are stripped off the molecules, resulting in the electrification of the cloud. In their recent study, published in Nature Communications, the authors share how coarse marine aerosols, such as salt from sea spray, can reduce the frequency of lightning. They also show how incontrast, fine aerosols, which are more common over land, promote cloud electrification. Large aerosols such as salt particles weaken convection (updrafts and downdrafts) within the cloud, and this promotes droplets to fall as rain instead of rising upward to form ice. If fewer ice particles form, there is less chance for cloud electrification. 59ce067264


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