Lightning can be a source of many benefits for the natural world. From providing a fertiliser to improving soil, lightning can help the environment in several ways.
Benefits of Lightning in the Rain
One of the biggest benefits of lightning is that it can help boost plants’ growth. Spring is the time when most people think of this, but winter thunderstorms can also improve the soil by adding nitrogen.
The reason is that the tight bond that holds airborne nitrogen molecules together means that plants cannot process it until a powerful bolt of energy separates them.
When lightning strikes, it can tear apart that bond and allow free nitrogen atoms to combine with oxygen molecules to form compounds called nitrates. These nitrates can then be carried down to the ground by rainfall and help plants grow.
Aside from helping plants, lightning can also help humans survive a storm. The National Weather Service estimates that about 90 percent of people who are struck by lightning survive, but the odds are higher if you’re near a tree or other object that may be weakened by the electrical currents traveling through it.
Lightning has also been known to destroy objects such as trees and fences. This can be very dangerous as the lightning’s heat and magnetic forces can cause the wood to vaporize and explode, causing serious injuries.
As the weather gets warmer, lightning will become more common. This is because there are more thunderstorms in the summer because of the unstable and moist atmosphere.