Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Probing Clouds' Roles In Global Electric Circuit

Date:
May 31, 2009
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
A semicontinuous current flow has been measured above electrified clouds. Called the Wilson current, this phenomenon has long been considered a critical component of the global electric circuit; however, only a few studies have directly investigated this current, yielding only a few dozen measurements.

A semicontinuous current flow has been measured above electrified clouds. Called the Wilson current, this phenomenon has long been considered a critical component of the global electric circuit; however, only a few studies have directly investigated this current, yielding only a few dozen measurements.

Reporting in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Mach et al. greatly expanded on this sparse collection of measurements. Using conductivity and electric field sensors mounted on high-altitude aircraft, they determined current densities along 850 overflights of electrified clouds.

Using these data, which represent more than a decade of observations of land-based and oceanic storms, the authors estimate the Wilson current for each of the clouds overflown. They find that one third of the clouds studied did not have lightning yet still generated significant Wilson currents, confirming that such "shower" clouds do play a critical role in the global electric circuit.

They also find that 7 percent of storms produced current flows that were opposite in polarity from the typical thunderstorms, diminishing the contribution storms make to the global electric circuit.

The results of this paper will contribute to a better understanding of the global electric circuit.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mach, D. M., R. J. Blakeslee, M. G. Bateman, and J. C. Bailey. Electric fields, conductivity, and estimated currents from aircraft overflights of electrified clouds. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2009; 114 (d10): D10204 DOI: 10.1029/2008JD011495

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Probing Clouds' Roles In Global Electric Circuit." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529135535.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2009, May 31). Probing Clouds' Roles In Global Electric Circuit. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529135535.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Probing Clouds' Roles In Global Electric Circuit." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529135535.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins