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Effects of Current Flow in the Global Circuit on Winter Storm Vorticity and Polar Surface Pressures

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Analysis of meteorological gridded data shows responses of atmospheric dynamics to external forcing (solar wind) and internal forcing (low latitude thundercloud current output) of the global electric circuit. This affects the downward flow of current density through layer clouds, and the space (unipolar) charge at cloud boundaries and at droplet concentration gradients within clouds. Our working model involves charges on ice forming nuclei enhancing contact ice nucleation and precipitation, for example in the layer clouds in the warm front region of winter cyclones. It also involves charges on CCN affecting their rates of being scavenged by droplets, and eventually affecting droplet size distributions and cloud cover.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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