In recent years, measurements of lightning have become more extensive and new satellite instruments have further enhanced measurement coverage. Lightning can be used as a proxy for monitoring severe convection and hence precipitation, improving estimates of severe storm intensity and provide early warnings for severe weather phenomena. In addition, lightning itself impacts the global climate by producing nitrogen oxides (NOX), a strong greenhouse gas. In regard of climate monitoring, lightning is thought to be a valuable indicator to track and understand trends in convective events under climate change.
Due to this relevance and potential as climatological variable, lightning has been added to the list of Essential Climate Variables (ECV) in the 2016 GCOS Implementation Plan. Action 29 of the IP called for defining “the requirement for lightning measurements, including data exchange, for climate monitoring and to encourage space agencies and operators of ground-based systems to provide global coverage and reprocessing of existing datasets”.
In order to follow up on this action, AOPC agreed during AOPC-22 (Exeter, UK, March 2017) on the creation of a dedicated Task Team on Lightning Observations for Climate Applications. This task team shall continue the work related to lightning observations of the Task Team on the Use of Remote Sensing Data for Climate Monitoring of the Commission for Climatology (CCl) as a joint GCOS/CCl task team.
Draft Terms of Reference
|Robert Holzworth (Chair)
|Steven J. Goodman
||Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
|Earle R. Williams
||Tel Aviv, Israel