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E. There's More To Lightning Than Meets The Eye

Narrator: This is Science Today. Thunderstorms over the oceans generate more lightning than previously thought. Paul Argo, a staff physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, says this was discovered using radio-based observations from the FORTE satellite.

Argo: With the satellite-based optical measurements, they see very little lightning and indications that there's lightning over tropical storms that are over the ocean.

Narrator: But the FORTE satellite is detecting in very short flashes that lightning seems to occur over the oceans just as much as it does on land.

Argo: Well over half of the major storms move across the oceans and we have a chance to be able to point at the ones that are lightning-active, hence hopefully we'll be able to show that they have the strong convection and those then will be storms that will have to be put into the global models to understand the microscopic changes that lead to El Nino and other activities like that.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.