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.

Related Articles


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 November 27, 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 November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
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