National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Earth's Electrical Environment (1986)

Chapter: References

Suggested Citation:"References." National Research Council. 1986. The Earth's Electrical Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/898.
Page 129
Suggested Citation:"References." National Research Council. 1986. The Earth's Electrical Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/898.
Page 130

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CHARGING MECHANISMS IN CLOUDS AND THUNDERSTORMS 129 items of secondary importance shown in parentheses). Charging appears to be well described by diffusion, drift, and selective ion capture for the nonprecipitating cloud stage (mechanisms 1-3). The situation in the rain stage is complicated by the addition of breakup and induction (mechanisms 4 and 5). We suspect that drift, selective ion capture, breakup, and induction are responsible for charges and fields in shallow clouds. However, it is difficult to find an explanation for the stronger electrification in convective clouds over a few kilometers deep. The basis of lightning from clouds with tops warmer than freezing remains a mystery. A major problem in the rain stage is that our knowledge of the suspected mechanisms is still rather rudimentary. There is clearly a need for additional research on charging by ions, breakup, induction, and convection to understand the electrification of warm clouds. In the hail stage we add thermoelectric and interface charging (mechanisms 7 and 8). Recent laboratory studies of charge transfer involving ice particles rebounding from simulated hailstones in the process of riming have shown that interface charging is the dominant mechanism. The roles of temperature, liquid-water content, and solutes are most likely important in altering the rime structure and thereby the contact potential and contact area. More research is required to understand these effects and the details of charge transfer. The electrification process becomes more complex as a cloud develops. The cloud stage involves mechanisms 1-3, whereas the rain stage includes 1-6. All the mechanisms listed in Table 9.1 may occur in the hail stage. We might ask, as many have before us, which separation mechanisms are essential to cloud electrification. The answers, if we had them, would depend on which aspect of cloud electrification we consider. For example, the essential mechanism for lightning depends on whether we are looking at the field development in the rain or hail stages or whether we are concerned with the charge centers associated with cloud-to-ground, in-cloud, or cloud-to-cloud lightning. Yet another aspect of lightning is the mechanism that initiates the stroke. Clearly the idea of an "essential" mechanism is an oversimplification. A more useful approach is to examine the interdependencies. We should be asking how the various charge-separation mechanisms are related. Some answers should be forthcoming as we incorporate the knowledge gained from recent laboratory studies of individual mechanisms into models of cloud electrification and compare the findings to field observations. With continued progress in laboratory, field, and modeling research we should achieve, in the next decade, a much improved perspective of the charging mechanisms in clouds and thunderstorms. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We appreciate the helpful comments of Bernice Ackerman, David Johnson, Anthony Illingworth, and an anonymous reviewer. This review was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation under ATM-83-14072. References Buser, O., and A. N. Aufdermaur (1977). Electrification by collision of ice particles on ice or metal targets, in Electrical Processes in Atmospheres , N. Dolezalek and R. Reiter, eds., Steinkopff, Darmstadt, p. 294 . Caranti, J. M., and A. J. Illingworth (1980). Surface potentials of ice and thunderstorm charge separation, Nature 284 , 44 . Caranti, J. M., and A. J. Illingworth (1983a). Transient Workman-Reynolds freezing potentials, J. Geophys. Res. 88 , 8483 . Caranti, J. M., and A. J. Illingworth (1983b). The contact potential of rimed ice, J. Phys. Chem. 87 , 4125. Chalmers, J. A. (1967). Atmospheric Electricity , Pergamon Press, New York, 515 pp. Chiu, C. S., and J. D. Klett (1976). Convective electrification of clouds, J. Geophys. Res. 81 , 1111 . Elster, J., and H. Geitel (1913). Zur Influenztheorie der Niederschlags-elektrizität, Phys. Z. 14 , 1287 . Gaskell, W. (1981). A laboratory study of the inductive theory of thunderstorm electrification, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 107 , 955 . Gaskell, W., and A. J. Illingworth (1980). Charge transfer accompanying individual collisions between ice particles and its role in thunderstorm electrification, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 106 , 841 . Grenet, G. (1947). Essai d' explication de la charge électrique des nuages d' orages, Ann. Geophys. 3 , 306 . Griffiths, R. F., and J. Latham (1974). Electrical corona from ice hydrometeors, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 100 , 163 . Grover, S. N., and K. V. Beard (1975). A numerical determination of the efficiency with which electrically charged cloud drops and small raindrops collide with electrically charged spherical particles of various densities, J. Atmos. Sci. 11 , 2156 . Gunn, R. (1957). The electrification of precipitation and thunderstorms, Proc. IRE 45 , 1331 . Israël, H. (1971). Atmospheric Electricity , Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Ltd., 317 pp . Jayaratne, E. R., C. P. R. Saunders, and J. Hallett (1983). Laboratory studies of the charging of soft-hail during ice crystal interactions, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 109 , 609 . Jennings, S. G. (1975). Electrical charging of water drops in polarizing electric fields, J. Electrostatics 1 , 15 . Krehbiel, P. R., M. Brook, R. L. Lhermitte, and C. L. Lennon (1983). Lightning charge structure in thunderstorms, in Proceedings in Atmospheric Electricity , L. H. Ruhnke and J. Latham, eds., A. Deepak Publ., Hampton, Va., pp. 408-410 . Latham, J. (1981). The electrification of thunderstorms, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 107 , 277 . Latham, J., and B. J. Mason (1961). Electric charge transfer associated with temperature gradients in ice, Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 260 , 523 . Latham, J., and C. D. Stow (1967). The distribution of charge within ice specimens subjected to linear and non-linear temperature gradients, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 93 , 122 . Latham, J., and R. Warwicker (1980). Charge transfer accompanying

CHARGING MECHANISMS IN CLOUDS AND THUNDERSTORMS 130 the splashing of supercooled raindrops on hailstones, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 106 , 559 . Mason, B. J. (1972). The physics of the thunderstorm, Proc. R. Soc. London A 327 , 433 . Mason, B. J. (1976). In reply to a critique of precipitation theories of thunderstorm electrification by C. B. Moore (Moore, 1977), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 102 , 219 . Matthews, J. B., and B. J. Mason (1964). Electrification produced by the rupture of large water drops in an electric field, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 90 . 275 . McTaggart-Cowan, J. D., and R. List (1975). Collision and breakup of water drops at terminal velocity, J. Atmos. Sci. 32 , 1401 . Moore, C. B. (1976). Reply (to comments by B. J. Mason, 1976), Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 102 , 225 . Moore, C. B. (1977). An assessment of thunderstorm electrification mechanisms, in Electrical Processes in Atmospheres , N. Dolezalek and R. Reiter, eds., Steinkopff, Darmstadt, p. 333 . Moore, C. B., B. Vonnegut, B. A. Stein, and H. J. Survilas (1960). Observations of electrification and lightning in warm clouds, J. Geophys. Res. 65 , 1907 . Phillips, B. B., and G. D. Kinzer (1958). Measurements of the size and electrification of droplets in cumuliform clouds, J. Meteorol. 15 , 369 . Pruppacher, H. R., and J. D. Klett (1978). Microphysics of Clouds and Precipitation , D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, 714 pp . Takahashi, T. (1973a). Measurement of electric charge of cloud droplets, drizzle and raindrops, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. 11 , 903 . Takahashi, T. (1937b). Electrification of condensing and evaporating liquid drops, J. Atmos. Sci. 30 , 249 . Takahashi, T. (1978). Electrical properties of oceanic tropical clouds at Ponape, Micronesia, Mon. Weather Rev. 106 , 1598 . Takahashi, T. (1982). Electrification and precipitation mechanisms of maritime shallow warm clouds in the tropics, J. Meteorol. Soc. Japan 60 , 508 . Telford, J. W., and P. B. Wagner (1979). Electric charge separation in severe storms , Pure Appl. Geophys. 117 , 891 . Vonnegut, B. (1955). Possible mechanism for the formation of thunderstorm electricity, in Proceedings International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity , Geophys. Res. Paper No. 42, Air Force Cambridge Research Center, Bedford, Mass., p. 169 . Wahlin, L. (1977). Electrochemical charge separation in clouds, in Electrical Processes in Atmospheres , N. Dolezalek and R. Reiter, eds., Steinkopff, Darmstadt, p. 384 . Whipple, F. J. W., and J. A. Chalmers (1944). On Wilson's theory of the collection of charge by falling drops, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 70 , 103 . Wilson, C. T. R. (1929). Some thunderstorm problems, J. Franklin Inst. 208 , 1 . Workman, E. J. (1969). Atmospheric electrical effects resulting from the collision of supercooled water drops and hail, in The Physics of Ice , N. Riehl, ed., Plenum Press, New York, p. 594 . Workman, E. J., and S. E. Reynolds (1948). A suggested mechanism for the generation of thunderstorm electricity, Phys. Rev. 74 , 526 . Wormell, T. W. (1953). Atmospheric electricity: Some recent trends and problems, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 79 , 3 .

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This latest addition to the Studies in Geophysics series explores in scientific detail the phenomenon of lightning, cloud, and thunderstorm electricity, and global and regional electrical processes. Consisting of 16 papers by outstanding experts in a number of fields, this volume compiles and reviews many recent advances in such research areas as meteorology, chemistry, electrical engineering, and physics and projects how new knowledge could be applied to benefit mankind.

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