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Connection Schumann resonance and Lightning events

  1. Aug 9, 2017 #1
    I just spent some time on Wikipedia, learning about Schumann resonance, and had a question:

    How does the Schumann resonance relate to thunderstorms? Is there a direct relationship between the Schumann resonance and the lightning activity; the number of lightning events per second for example?

    My assumption is that when the Schumann resonance is higher, there are more lightning events. The Schumann resonance is higher when the cavity between the earth's surface and the ionosphere is smaller. To me, it would seem that the ions in our sky are then also closer together, making it more likely for lightning to occur? I'm curious if this assumption is correct, and how the measurements of both Schumann resonance and lightning events line up.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    There is none that I am aware of and I can think of no reason that there should be. Schumann resonance just means that the distance between the ionosphere and the Earth's surface supports an EM wave of a particular wavelength which falls into the extremely low frequency (ELF) part of the spectrum. The EM waves themselves appear to be generated by lightning discharges, but I doubt there is any connection between Schumann resonance and the number of lightning discharges.

    The ionosphere is well above the troposphere and has little-to-no direct effect on the weather (which is in the troposphere). The density of ions in the ionosphere might affect how it interacts with EM waves, but it will have no effect on anything happening elsewhere. Also, just to be clear, all of the ions we're talking about here are in the ionosphere. The troposphere, as a whole, has almost no ionization at all.
  4. Aug 9, 2017 #3
    Great! That shows how little I know! ^_^
    Thanks Drakkith! Good to have an answer!
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