The lightning–biota climatic feedback

Authors


Hezi Gildor, fax +972 8 9344124, e-mail: hezi.gildor@weizmann.ac.il

Abstract

We investigate a negative climatic feedback which involves an increase in deposition of lightning-produced nitrogen compounds into ecosystems as a response to a global temperature rise. This increases primary production on both land and ocean, which reduces atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), and consequently global temperature in return. Large uncertainties in numerous processes and parameters in this feedback exist and therefore its importance is unclear. This feedback is investigated using a conceptual dynamical model, including assessing its role in counteracting anthropogenic-induced warming by reducing the rate of accumulation and concentration of atmospheric CO2. Overall, this study suggests that this feedback is of mild strength in the climate system, but raises the intriguing possibility that it should be considered in long-term climate simulations. Further work in investigating this climatic feedback is required.

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