New Study Confirms Car Exhaust Increases Lightning StrikesS

A new study reveals car exhaust clouds attract lightning and actually increase the frequency of strikes. Metallica approves.

Thorough lightning mapping has shown that long stretches of rural road have an unusually high concentration of lightning strikes. An undisclosed 50km stretch of desert highway has so many daily lightning strikes that Metallica actually chose to have their latest music video shot there.

NewScientist states, "During the working week, air pollution rises because of all the vehicles on the road. This effect has been shown to modify rainfall patterns both at the weekend and during the week by creating stronger updrafts of air and bigger clouds."

While you're not going to have a doomcloud tearing ass after your Festiva across the desert, it's interesting to see how our habits on the ground tinker with the happens up on high. For some extra insurance, I'm going to slap a little Farady cage action on the 'ole Scion.

[NewScientist via BldgBlog]

Photo Credit: David McNew / Getty Images News