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Lightning represents a natural phenomenon of historic interest; due to its complex aspects research continues in many countries and reveals amazing results. One focus of attention relates to the hazards which, though less dangerous than flash floods, cause both a number of human victims every year and increasing damage to forests, buildings, power lines and other structures. In the present volume, the most important current questions on Lightning are described and analysed under many experimental and theoretical aspects, and each topic is presented by experts in the field.
Lightning detection techniques using different methods, network engineering and statistical results are described.Understanding of the various processes during flash occurrence is still a matter of research, such as initiating effects, development and propagation of leaders, and electrical neutralization by means of relatively large currents in discharge channels. In this sense, contributions contain research in atmospheric electricity regarding cloud physics and lightning, lightning physics, modelling of the electricity of storms, and lightning in relation with middle atmospheric events. Special phenomena such as triggered lightning, sprite observations, lightning-related chemical effects in the atmosphere are covered. Finally, severe weather conditions are often related to lightning so that observations and nowcasting are scrutinized.
Present Understanding of the Lightning Return Stroke.- Triggered Lightning.- Electric Field and Charge Structure in Lightning-Producing Clouds.- Characteristics of Lightning in Supercells.- LINET -- An International VLF/LF Lightning Detection Network in Europe.- LAMPINET - Lightning Detection in Italy.- Lightning Detection in Spain: The particular Case of Catalonia.- Spatial Distribution and Frequency of Thunderstorms and Lightning in Australia.- Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Observations in Brazil.- Observation and Interpretation of Lightning Flashes with Electromagnetic Lightning Mapper.- Nowcasting of Thunderstorms Using VHF Measurements.- Optical Detection of Lightning from Space.- Space- and Ground-Based Studies of Lightning Signatures.- Lightning Measurements from Satellites and Significance for Storms in the Mediterranean.- Energetic Radiation and Lightning.- Schumann Resonance Signatures of Global Lightning Activity.- The Meteorological and Electrical Structure of TLE-producing Convective Storms.- Infrasound from Lightning and Sprites.- Lightning in the Mediterranean in Relation with Cloud Microphysical Parameters.- Lightning and Precipitation.- Comparative Analysis of Flash and Radar Characteristics of Thunderstorm Cells.- Lightning Characteristics of Extreme Weather Events.- Flash Cells in Thunderstorms.- Thunderstorms, Lightning and Climate Change.- Impact of Lightning on Air Chemistry and Climate.- Lightning and NOx Production in Global Models.- Lightning Protection of Structures.
Hans D. Betz received his PhD in Physics at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He performed research and teaching at the Physics Department of MIT at Boston, USA, thereafter at the Physics Department of the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. Major fields of research covered laser, atomic and nuclear physics, and atmospheric electricity.