EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Ocean acidification may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans

Mustafa Asfur1, Jacob Silverman2, and Colin Price3
Mustafa Asfur et al.
  • 1Ruppin Academic center, Marine Scieance , Israel (
  • 2National Institute of Oceanography (IOLR), Tel Shikmona , Haifa, Israel
  • 3Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel

The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 is not only considered to drive global warming, but also ocean acidification. Previous studies have shown that acidification will affect many aspects of carbon uptake and release in the surface water of the ocean through increased primary productivity and decreased biogenic calcification and CaCO3 dissolution. In this report we present a potential novel impact of acidification on the flash intensity of lightning discharged into the oceans. Our experimental results show that a decrease in ocean pH corresponding to the predicted increase in atmospheric CO2 according to the IPCC RCP 8.5 worst case emission scenario will increase the Lightning Flash Intensity (LFI) by ca. 30% by the end of the 21st century relative to 2000. This increase in LFI may have broader implications for the atmospheric NOx production and precipitation as well as the atmospheric ozone budget (O3 and N2O production). In turn, these feedback processes may impact both marine and terrestrial biological uptake of carbon that should be considered in global carbon and climate models.

How to cite: Asfur, M., Silverman, J., and Price, C.: Ocean acidification may be increasing the intensity of lightning over the oceans, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5363,, 2020