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2017-01-03. New Way to Gauge Lightning's Role in Ozone Formation.

posted Jan 6, 2017, 4:19 PM by Alan Gould
By Sarah McQuate, EoS - Earth & Space Science News, AGU. For GSS Ozone chapter 2. Excerpt: Comparing satellite data on a key airborne ozone precursor to readings from a lightning sensor network reveals how much different types of lightning strokes affect atmospheric ozone chemistry. ...Scientists have long known that lightning discharges trigger chemical reactions that yield simple nitrogen-oxygen compounds known as nitrogen oxides, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). In the atmosphere, nitrogen oxides can react with oxygen to form ozone, which blocks radiation from leaving Earth, increasing the planet’s global temperature over time. Humans also produce nitrogen oxides during such day-to-day activities as driving cars and running factories. Figuring out the amount of NO2 a single lightning bolt produces could enable researchers to better pin down how much of this atmospheric ozone precursor is naturally produced and how much comes from human endeavors, Jeff Lapierre, a postdoctoral researcher in atmospheric physics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, told Eos....  https://eos.org/articles/new-way-to-gauge-lightnings-role-in-ozone-formation