Lighting strikes have killed at least 1,697 people in India between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021, according to reports from climate research organisations. The numbers have sparked a discussion about climate change being a possible trigger factor for the increased lighting strikes.

According to a research published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, India is likely to experience a steep increase in lightning strikes by the end of this century.

The numbers project an increase of 10-25% while also warning that the intensity and frequency are also likely to be harsher. Coastal areas have been noted as a higher-risk category.

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Some links between the increase in lightning strikes and climate change have been noticed in the Arctic region, which seems to be the most affected area due to the changing environmental conditions.

“The number of lightning strikes recorded during the summer months between 2010 and 2020 shot up from around 18,000 at the start of the decade to more than 150,000 by 2020”, according to a study published in Geophysical Research Letters earlier this year, reported India Times.

Even though no direct links have been established so far, various observations in studies conducted over the years have pointed in the direction of a climate connection. Moreover, a similar trajectory has been noticed in climate change and lighting strikes.

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Key elements of modern-day society like urbanisation and a substantial increase in population have also been correlated with the climatic phenomena, according to a research paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The Annual Lighting Report of 2020-2021 has pointed out a significant increase in areas of Bihar (an increase of 168%), Himachal Pradesh (105%), West Bengal (100%), Haryana (164%) while Puducherry reported an increase of 117%, according to reports from India Times.