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Toward the creation of an ontology for the coupling of atmospheric electricity with biological systems


Atmospheric electric fields (AEFs) are produced by both natural processes and electrical infrastructure and are increasingly recognized to influence and interfere with various organisms and biological processes, including human well-being. Atmospheric electric fields, in particular electromagnetic fields (EMFs), currently attract a lot of scientific attention due to emerging technologies such as 5G and satellite internet. However, a broader retrospective analysis of available data for both natural and artificial AEFs and EMFs is hampered due to a lack of a semantic approach, preventing data sharing and advancing our understanding of its intrinsic links. Therefore, here we create an ontology (ENET_Ont) for existing (big) data on AEFs within the context of biological systems that is derived from different disciplines that are distributed over many databases. Establishing an environment for data sharing provided by the proposed ontology approach will increase the value of existing data and facilitate reusability for other communities, especially those focusing on public health, ecology, environmental health, biology, climatology as well as bioinformatics.

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This article is based upon work from COST Action Electronet (CA15211), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

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Correspondence to Snezana Savoska.

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Savoska, S., Fdez-Arroyabe, P., Cifra, M. et al. Toward the creation of an ontology for the coupling of atmospheric electricity with biological systems. Int J Biometeorol 65, 31–44 (2021).

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  • Ontology
  • Atmospheric electric fields (AEF)
  • Biological systems
  • Exposome