Lightning and the Weather

1 Dec 2011

This piece, at begins by telling us that at any given moment two thousand thunderstorms roll over Earth producing 50 flashes of lightning every second. Each lightning burst creates electromagnetic waves that begin to circle around the Earth - in the atmosphere. Some of these waves combine and increase in strength to create an atmospheric phenomenon known as Schumann Resonance. This provides a tool to analyse the weather on Earth, its electric environment, and what types of atoms and molecules exist in the atmosphere at any given time. NASAs Vector Electric Field Instrument onboard a satellite orbiting the Earth has detected Schumann Resonance from space - which has surprised scientists. Current modelling predicts the resonance occurs at lower altitude, between the surface and the ionosphere - probably by assuming electricity in the atmosphere has a terrestrial origin. They did not expect to find the resonance in space - or way up in the very upper reaches of the atmosphere, it would seem. It is being explained by the concept that energy is leaking.

At in a piece with the charming title, 'The Interplay of dancing electrons' we have some Swedish research of importance, electrons in negative ions and how they interact with each other - which impinges, among other things, on radio carbon dating methodology.