Electrostatic Charging Processes in the Earth Atmosphere

Paper #:
  • 1999-01-2366

Published:
  • 1999-06-22
Citation:
Grard, R., "Electrostatic Charging Processes in the Earth Atmosphere," SAE Technical Paper 1999-01-2366, 1999, https://doi.org/10.4271/1999-01-2366.
Author(s):
Affiliated:
Pages:
7
Abstract:
The electric current which circulates downwards in the Earth atmosphere results from the motion of positive and negative ions drifting in opposite directions under the influence of an electric field. A body such as a balloon or a gondola, moving upwards against the electric field collects an excess of positive ions, whereas a falling body, such as a water drop, may acquire a negative charge. In a similar way, parcels of hot and cold air ascending or descending in a cloud are selectively charged. This model is proposed as an explanation for the charge separation mechanism which takes place within thunderstorm clouds characterized by vigourous turbulence and convection.
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