Chalk another item up on the list of environmental effects caused by car exhaust fumes – they increase the likelihood of lightning strikes.
“In the south-eastern states [of the US], lightning strikes increased with pollution by as much as 25 per cent during the working week. The moist, muggy air in this region creates low-lying clouds with plenty of space to rise and generate the charge needed for an afternoon thunderstorm.
Surprisingly, the effect was not strongest within big cities with high pollution, but in the suburbs and rural areas surrounding them… “
Now there’s a tenuous techno-thriller plot device just waiting to be used… I wonder if a big enough car-generated lightning storm could deflect an incoming NEO? Call Bruce Willis! [story via BLDGBLOG; image by M0i et c’est tout]