Lightning strikes will double in Arctic as climate warms

The uptick in Arctic lightning could cause more wildfires, potentially triggering a feedback loop that releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

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  • In recent years, researchers have recorded unusually high numbers of lightning strikes and wildfires in Arctic regions.
  • A new study explored how increased lightning could cause a "lightning-fire-vegetation feedback loop" that could accelerate permafrost loss.
  • To better monitor changing conditions in the Arctic, the researchers called for more high-quality lightning monitoring systems.
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Lightning may have provided a key mineral for early life on Earth

How do you get usable phosphorus into a system? A new study suggests lightning can do the trick.

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  • A chance discovery in suburban Illinois may change how we understand the dawn of life.
  • Among other things, life needs water-soluble phosphorus, which was hard to come by 3.5 billion years back.
  • This finding may imply that life has more opportunities to begin on other worlds than previously supposed.
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