Lightning is a massive electrostatic discharge between the electrically charged regions within clouds or between a cloud and the Earth's surface. Present paper reviewed various features including generation mechanism of lightning discharges and many transient luminous events (TLEs). Optical discharges like sprites and halos are been caused by the upward developing quasi-electrostatic fields associated with intense cloud-to-ground discharges whereas jets (blue starters, blue jets, gigantic jets, palm tree) are caused by the charge imbalance in the thunderstorms during the intra-cloud and cloud-to-ground discharges and evolve through the process of leaders and streamers. Elves are been generated by the electromagnetic pulse radiated from the return stroke current of lightning discharges. The impact of atmospheric circulation, global electric circuits (GECs), NOx/O3 perturbations (in the troposphere and stratosphere) and aerosols on lightning discharges are discussed and their role on climate change are briefly described.
Keywords: Lightning/thunderstorm, Transient Luminous Events (TLEs), Global Electric Circuit, NOx/O3 perturbation, Aerosols and Climate, Streamers and Leaders