Lightning from recent storms can actually make the grass greener

It's all done through a process known as nitrogen fixation

Photo Courtesy: Gregg Wood
Photo Courtesy: Gregg Wood

ROANOKE, Va. – Of course this time of year, we notice a lot more green. According to Kermit the Frog, it's not easy being that color either. 

Anyways, many of us know that we see more color because of the increase in daylight. This helps to make photosynthesis a more efficient process than it is in the winter.

However, it's interesting to note that lightning may actually have an impact on how green things turn. I don't know about you, but to me - it seems as though this explosion of green happened overnight.

It has to do with a process known as nitrogen fixation. I know...we're taking you back to chemistry class. 

Lightning has a lot of energy. That energy actually splits nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere. (Our atmosphere is 78% nitrogen.)

That nitrogen, once it splits, then interacts with oxygen molecules. This creates what we call nitrates. 

Rain transports those nitrates down to the ground, where they act as a fertilizer. 


Try throwing nitrogen fixation into conversation here and there, and see if it impresses your friends. If not, just admire the pretty shades of green that have taken residence for the next few months in our beautiful area.

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