Stratospheric Electricity and the Global Circuit

  • E. T. Pierce
Conference paper

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to relate our present knowledge of stratospheric electrification to concepts of the global circuit. The crudest feature of this circuit – a sharply bounded perfectly conducting upper layer – only emerged in 1929. The earlier ideas of Wilson and Appleton were far more sophisticated and have much in common with modern concepts. For example, a penetration of currents into the ionosphere to be there influenced by geomagnetic fields was envisaged.

The precise profile of electrical conductivity is shown to be critical to the global circuit. A maximum in conductivity due to a very small concentration of free electrons may exist at 50 km. This would tend to channel currents laterally rather in the manner conceived in the crude model of the global circuit.

Keywords

Attenuation Geophysics 

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Copyright information

© Dr. Dietrich Steinkopff Verlag GmbH & Co. KG., Darmstadt 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. T. Pierce
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford Research Inst.Menlo ParkUSA

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