Surveys in Geophysics

, 32:659 | Cite as

Solar Activity, Lightning and Climate

  • Devendraa Siingh
  • R. P. Singh
  • Ashok K. Singh
  • M. N. Kulkarni
  • A. S. Gautam
  • Abhay K. Singh


The physics of solar forcing of the climate and long term climate change is summarized, and the role of energetic charged particles (including cosmic rays) on cloud formation and their effect on climate is examined. It is considered that the cosmic ray-cloud cover hypothesis is not supported by presently available data and further investigations (during Forbush decreases and at other times) should be analyzed to further examine the hypothesis. Another player in climate is lightning through the production of NOx; this greenhouse gas, water vapour in the troposphere (and stratosphere) and carbon dioxide influence the global temperature through different processes. The enhancement of aerosol concentrations and their distribution in the troposphere also affect the climate and may result in enhanced lightning activity. Finally, the roles of atmospheric conductivity on the electrical activity of thunderstorms and lightning discharges in relation to climate are discussed.


Solar irradiance Galactic cosmic rays Thunderstorm/Lightning Upper tropospheric water vapour Atmospheric chemistry Aerosols Climate 



This work was inspired by discussions which DS had with Prof. B.N. Goswami and suggestions given by him during his previous work on the role of cosmic rays in the Earth’s atmosphere. RPS acknowledges the facilities provided by the Head, Department of Physics. BHU, Varanasi. The authors thank the four anonymous reviewers for their critical comments which helped to improve this paper. They also express their gratitude to Prof. M. J. Rycroft for his valuable suggestions.This work was supported under the collaboration programme of IITM, Pune and BHU, Varanasi, and also partially supported under CAWSES programme (DS). The authors thank Mr Kirankumar Johare for help with correcting the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devendraa Siingh
    • 1
  • R. P. Singh
    • 2
  • Ashok K. Singh
    • 3
  • M. N. Kulkarni
    • 1
  • A. S. Gautam
    • 1
  • Abhay K. Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  3. 3.Physics DepartmentLucknow UniversityLucknowIndia

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