A butterfly in India…?

In a recent articles researchers (Chowdhuri et al.,2020) reported that lightning has descreased during Covid lockdowns. What’s happening?

Randy Swaty

Back in 1963 Edward Lorenz of MIT published a paper on the “Butterfly Effect”, or the idea that small causes may have large effects. This work led to the chaos theory and changed the course of science. See more about this and how it;s inspiring climate change research here.

Perhaps connecting the Butterfly Effect with how covid may be linked to more lightening is way off base, but well, that’s where my mind went. Read on and see what you think.

Here’s the basics:

Covid lockdowns lead to less pollution. Less pollution means less lightening. I’m no atmospheric chemist, but this seemed plausible, and super cool so I thought I’d share.

Some specifics:

Chowdhuri et al. did their research in the Kolkata, a megacity in the state of West Bengal. The city is a commercial hub of eastern India and has a population of 14.85 million. The pollutants rate in Kolkata was reduced by 40% during a strict covid-induced lockdown. This significant reduction in pollutants was accompanied by a a reduction in lightning strikes by ~50% when compared with the mean number of lightning strikes from the same month of the previous 10 years.

The paper:

Check the real source out. Chowdhuri et al., 2020