The Global Electrical Circuit: A Review. Earle Williams MIT International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity Beijing, China August 2007. Outline - Global Circuit. The two Global Circuits : How are they different? Carnegie Curve vs Thunder Area
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International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity
The two Global Circuits : How are they different?
Carnegie Curve vs Thunder Area
Robustness of Carnegie Curve for individual days
Effects of Bomb tests in the 50s and 60s
Response of global circuit to global change
"Thunderclouds and shower clouds" are the sources for the global current.
Wallace et Hobbs (1977)
Williams ( 1988)
Blakeslee et al (1989)
Bering et al (1998)
Rycroft at al (2000)
Reddell et al (2004)
Holzworth et al (2005)
Hayakawa et al (2006)
Kartalev et al (2005)
Nickolaenko et al (2006)
WILSON (1920) DID NOT MAKE THIS CLAIM
Distinctions in the Global Circuit
two Global Circuits
Fine Weather Current + 60 C
Precipitation + 30 C
Lightning - 20 C
Point Discharge - 100 C
Diurnal Time Scale
Annual Time Scale
Current control by position of magnetic dip
equator (Kartalev et al, 2006).
Electrified shower curves in South America
dominate over Africa.
Ralph Markson : We should get the get the
same result every day.
Bob Holzworth : We can have factor-of-two
fluctuations from one
day to the next.
Note similarity with behavior of ‘carnegie curve’
(Markson et al, 1999)
Holzworth et al (1984)
Ionospheric Potential and Separated Locations
Stratospheric Burden of Radioactive Strontium
Märcz and Harrison (2003)
McIntosh (1957) Decline in smoke concentration at
Novakov et al (2003) Decline in black soot production
from 1920 onward
Reduced Pollution Enhanced Conductivity
Reduced Electric Field
14 Years of Schumann Resonance Intensity Separated Locations
(Halstead Harrison, GRL 2006)
From Harrison and Ingram, 2005
Air–earth current measurements at Kew, London, 1909–1979R.G. Harrison,T, W.J. Ingramb. Atmospheric Research 76 (2005) 49–64
Long-Term Variation of Ionospheric Potential Separated Locations
Global circuit response Separated Locations
to Global warming?
Anticipated sensitivity 10% per 1°C
Measured global warming (tropics) 0.1°c per decade
This may go undetected in a short record
Summer Average Temperatures,
Fairbanks, AK 1950 - 2005
Summer Thunder Days,
Ionospheric Potential but do not track each other identically, for well established reasons.
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 UT
14 Years of Schumann Resonance Intensity but do not track each other identically, for well established reasons.