The Earth’s Electrical Environment | National Academy of Sciences


The Earth’s Electrical Environment by the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy Press) is a now old but free PDF that was one of the original and few books to explore the Electric Earth.

Quote from The Earth’s Electrical Environment

We live in an environment that is permanently electrified. Certainly, the most spectacular display of this state occurs during intense electrical storms. Lightning strikes the Earth 50 to 100 times each second and causes the death of hundreds of people each year …

Even in fair weather, there is an electric field of several hundred volts per meter near the ground that is maintained by worldwide thunderstorm activity.

In the Earth’s upper atmosphere near 100-km altitude, a current of a million amperes flows in the high-latitude auroral zones; changes in the upper atmosphere currents, through electromagnetic induction, cause telluric currents to flow within power and communication lines as well as within the Earth and oceans. The upper atmospheric current systems are highly variable and are strongly related to solar-terrestrial disturbances. Power failures and communication disruptions have occurred during intense geomagnetic storms. It also appears that the electromagnetic transients that are produced by lightning and man-made power systems can affect trapped particle populations in the magnetosphere and cause particle precipitation into the upper atmosphere at low geomagnetic latitudes.

The Earth’s Electrical Environment IS NOT written by or from an Electric Universe theory point of view but could be interpreted as our planets electric weather systems and circuits in an Electric Universe. Some of the information is now dated as it was written in 1986.

It has been known for over two centuries that the solid and liquid Earth and its atmosphere are almost permanently electrified. The surface has a net negative charge, and there is an equal and opposite positive charge distributed throughout the atmosphere above the surface. The fair-weather electric field is typically 100 to 300 V/m at the surface; there are diurnal, seasonal, and other time variations in this field that are caused by many factors. The atmosphere has a finite conductivity that increases with altitude; this conductivity is maintained primarily by galactic cosmic-ray ionization. Near the Earth’s surface, the conductivity is large enough to dissipate any field in just 5 to 40 minutes (depending on the amount of pollution); therefore, the local electric field must be maintained by some almost continuous current source.

Subjects include: Lightning, Cloud Electrification, Electrical Structure of the Atmosphere, The Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL), Mid-Troposphere-Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Ionosphere and Magnetosphere, Telluric Currents, Techniques for Evaluating the Electrical Processes and Structure, Societal Impact.

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