Articles | Volume 21, issue 9
Research article
10 May 2021
Research article |  | 10 May 2021

Assessing and improving cloud-height-based parameterisations of global lightning flash rate, and their impact on lightning-produced NOx and tropospheric composition in a chemistry–climate model

Ashok K. Luhar, Ian E. Galbally, Matthew T. Woodhouse, and Nathan Luke Abraham

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Cited articles

Allen, D. J. and Pickering, K. E.: Evaluation of lightning flash rate parameterizations for use in a global chemical transport model, J. Geophys. Res., 107, 4711,, 2002. 
Allen, D. J., Pickering, K. E., Bucsela, E., Krotkov, N., and Holzworth, R.: Lightning NOx production in the tropics as determined using OMI NO2 retrievals and WWLLN stroke data, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 124, 13498–13518,, 2019. 
Banerjee, A., Archibald, A. T., Maycock, A. C., Telford, P., Abraham, N. L., Yang, X., Braesicke, P., and Pyle, J. A.: Lightning NOx, a key chemistry–climate interaction: impacts of future climate change and consequences for tropospheric oxidising capacity, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 9871–9881,, 2014. 
Short summary
Lightning-generated nitrogen oxides (LNOx) greatly influence tropospheric photochemistry. The most common parameterisation of lightning flash rate used to calculate LNOx in global composition models underestimates measurements over the ocean by a factor of 20–25. We formulate and validate an alternative parameterisation to remedy this problem. The new scheme causes an increase in the ozone burden by 8.5 % and the hydroxyl radical by 13 %, and these have implications for climate and air quality.
Final-revised paper