The Global Circuit and Its Parameters

  • R. Mühleisen


Wilson’s hypothesis of the global air-electric circuit with the thunderstorms as generators has not been proven up to now. However, many results of measurements and considerations support the ideas of Wilson a.o. The task remains to study the significant parameters of the circuit one by one and in particular the balance of currents through this circuit. The main parameters are: the charge output of the thunderclouds to the ionosphere and to the ground, which includes the number of simultaneously acting storms and their individual output, the total air-earth current in fine-weather areas as well as in cloudy and weakly precipitating regions, the electric potential difference between ionosphere and ground and the columnar resistance. New measured values of these parameters are discussed and introduced into a new balance. It seems that a smaller value for the total current in the global circuit of about 1000–1200 A should be used in the future instead of 1800–2000 A formerly.

Some remarkable measurements gave information about horizontal fields in the magnetosphere and ionosphere which penetrate at least into the stratosphere and perhaps into the troposphere. It will be one task for the future to clear up the duration and the intensity of deviation from Wilson’s picture produced by such magnetospheric dynamo effects.


Magnetic Local Time Electric Potential Difference Horizontal Field Global Circuit Lightning Current 
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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Mühleisen
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomisches Institut der Universität TübingenRavensburg-RasthaldeWest-Germany

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