Cosmic Ray Influence on Atmospheric Electric Field and Thunderstorms, Earth’s Global Charge and Global Electric Current

  • Lev I. Dorman
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 303)


In Chapter 8 we considered the problem of the influence of atmospheric electric field on cosmic rays. But there is also another very important and interesting inverse problem: is there or is there not some influence of cosmic rays on thunderstorms and the atmospheric electric field? We mentioned this problem very briefly in Section 8.1. The first to suggest that secondary cosmic ray electrons can be influenced by the strong cloud electric fields was Wilson (1916, 1925a,b). In the last decade this problem was developed very intensively by A.V. Gurevich and colleagues (see Gurevich et al., 1992, 1999, 2001; Gurevich and Milikh, 1999; Gurevich and Zybin, 2001). They showed that the secondary CR relativistic electrons in the atmospheric electric field create runaway electron avalanches, which can be main cause of thunderstorm discharges (see Sections 11.2 and 11.3). On the other hand, Ermakov (1992), Ermakov and Stozhkov (2002, 2003) also connected thunderstorms discharges with CR, but they assumed that the main cause is EAS (External Atmospheric Showers) generated by primary CR with energy ≥ 1014 eV (see Section 11. 4).


Runaway Electron Electron Avalanche Atmospheric Electric Field High Energy Tail Critical Electric Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lev I. Dorman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Israel Cosmic Ray Center, Space Weather Center, and Emilio Segrè ObservatoryTel Aviv University, Israel Space Agency, and TechnionQazrinIsrael
  2. 2.Cosmic Ray Department of IZMIRANRussian Academy of ScienceTroitskRussia

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