# Where does the energy of a lightning strike go?

Lightning contains a lot of energy, so where does this energy go after lightning has hit the ground?

Does it travel all the way to the core? What happens after that?

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You can understand why this is because the energy dissipated by a current $I$ travelling through a resistance $R$ is given by $W = I^2R$. In a lightning strike the current is constant, because the charge flowing in one end has to flow out the other end, so the power dissipated is proportional to the resistance. The resistance of air is a lot higher than the resistance of the ground/tree/person or whatever the lightning hits, so the majority of the energy dissipation is in the air.