University of Patna head of the geology department Atul Aditya Pandey said climate change is contributing to this change in the pattern of lightning causing more deaths. The increase in temperature due to global warming creates more sea vapors. The high discharge from rapidly melting glaciers also adds to this. Consequently, cloud formation and the atmospheric circulation pattern are affected in such a way as to develop a system conducive to lightning and thunderstorms, he said.
Pandey further pointed out that the open agricultural fields in the northern districts of Bihar, especially in West Champaran, Vaishali, Katihar, Samastipur, Mujaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Purnea and Madhepura, are more prone to lightning strikes. Lately, lightning safety awareness is being created and a lightning warning system is being developed to minimize the loss of animal and human life, he said. .
The Dean of School of Earth, Biology and Environmental Sciences at Central University of South Bihar, Pradhan Parth Sarthi, observed that Bihar is witnessing such lighting incidents on an increased scale due to its geographical location. Previously, most of the stratus cumulus was responsible for atmospheric precipitation in the Indo-Gangetic plains, but in recent years, convective clouds dominate the stratus cumulus, causing an increase in the frequency of lightning and thunderstorms.
Sarthi further pointed out that deadly lightning due to local weather activities are due to convective clouds. He said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and Bihar State Disaster Management Authority issued alerts via Location Lightning Network, showing lightning in the immediate vicinity just after 10, 20 and 30 minutes in three different colors. However, technology for accurately predicting thunderstorms and lightning is still evolving, he said.
Ecologist Mehta Nagendra Singh said the recent events are happening due to the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) phenomenon.
The MJO is an oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon, which has a major impact on weather conditions in tropical regions. The oscillation causes a kind of fluctuation of the atmosphere which spreads from 40 to 50 degrees north latitude in the northern hemisphere and then oscillates towards India.