THE DIURNAL CARNEGIE CURVE
The global electric circuit is composed by the spherical conductor of the earth, the spherical conductor of the ionosphere. Thunderstorms act as charge generators, charging negatively the earth surface, and charging the ionosphere positive:
Statistically, the electric field strength reaches maximum (at 18:00 UTC) and minimum (at 04:00 UTC) everywhere on earth according to UTC time, and not the local time.
This was experimentally verified with data taken on board the ship Carnegie and that is why this characteristic diurnal curve is known as the “Carnegie curve” :
The height of clouds changes by up to 200m during a day under the influence of a global ‘electrical heartbeat’ in the atmosphere, scientists at the University of Reading have discovered.
The findings, made by analysing 10 years’ data of cloud heights from the north and south poles, open up a whole new perspective on our understanding of how clouds form and influence our weather and climate.
Scientists have been aware of the daily global ebb and flow of electric current through the atmosphere for 100 years, when it was shown to vary consistently throughout the day wherever on the planet it was measured. This regular variation, effectively a global electrical heartbeat, is known as the Carnegie curve, after the ship whose cruises provided the defining experiments in the 1920s.
The electric current is caused by electrified storms across the world. Its daily peak occurs at 7pm GMT each day when the major sources of thunderstorms are the American and African landmasses. The current is usually weakest at 3am GMT, night-time across most of the world’s continents, when there are fewest thunderstorms occurring globally.
Previously no connection had been made between this current and the formation of clouds. But, by analysing cloud base measurements made during polar darkness when there are few other influences on cloud formation, University of Reading meteorologists Professor Giles Harrison and Dr Maarten Ambaum found evidence for the first time that cloud heights are closely linked to the Carnegie curve.
Professor Harrison said: “What we found was remarkable. The variations from both north and south poles are almost identical, suggesting a strong link with the Carnegie curve, when other factors are taken out of the equation. This may arise from charging of small droplets in the cloud’s base, encouraging them to stick together.
“This implies that factors inside or outside the climate system which change the global electric current, such as ocean temperatures or cosmic rays, may influence the properties of layer clouds. However our results say nothing about any long-term effects, as they were found for rapidly-occurring changes from hour to hour.”
Layer clouds are particularly relevant to global temperatures. At night they act like a warm blanket, preventing heat from being lost from the earth into space, and during the day help cool the surface by reflecting away the sun’s energy.
“The realisation the electrical heartbeat of the planet plays a role in the formation of layer clouds indicates that existing models for clouds and climate are still missing potentially important components,” said Dr Ambaum.
The Biefeld-Brown Effect and the Global Electric Circuit
A comparison of the measured Biefeld-Brown effect and the measured global circuit electric field shows several parallels. Both exhibit diurnal variations, and both show a dependence on thunderstorm activity. Based on an analysis of experimental data taken on the Biefeld-Brown effect, a case is made for describing this effect as a secondary electrostatic effect related to the global electric field. It is concluded that the Biefeld-Brown effect is a real effect.
Local gravitational field on the earth is affected by the external gravity sources, such as the sun, moon, etc. As like the interior charges of a conductor, the ionospheric and telluric charges respond for the external gravitational field. However, the ionosphere of the earth is not a perfect conductor; although it is a minor fluctuation, local gravitational field on the earth is also affected by transient effects of telluric (from Moho layer and up to the surface), planetary boundary layer (PBL), and ionospheric charge distributions. One example is shown in the measurement of gravitational constant G, in which the constant G cannot be measured with high accuracy. In other words, the constant G cannot be determined more than 3 digits after decimal in the measurement.
Furthermore, if an abruptly enforced local disturbance, for example, is occurred in atmosphere, the response is different in each layer of ionosphere and from telluric charges due to the different electrical conductivities. These different responses can result to a temporal gravitational anomaly in local area on the earth.
Even though the magnitude of gravity variations during solar eclipses is so small, the variation of gravity is caused by the solar eclipse and it has not been explained clearly last half century. During the solar eclipse, not only a sudden decrease of the strength of vertical gravity is observed before the first contact and after the fourth contact, but also the tilt of the apparent vertical direction is observed.
Since the moon blocks the solar radiation, it have been reported that total electron content (TEC) in ionosphere is reduced as much as 20%-50%. As a correlation to the changes in ionosphere, the variations of atmospheric electromagnetic field also have been reported. It has been known that the electric conductivity nearby the earth’s surface is increased on the eclipse region, while electric potential gradient is reduced.
Figure (8) : (a) induced charges in ionosphere, PBL, and underground for external gravitations; and (b) the schematic drawing of the charge distributions during the solar eclipse.
Although it is still based on a theoretical speculation, the gravitational anomaly during the solar eclipse can be explained qualitatively as following: Fig. (8-a) is for the schematic drawing for the solar eclipse with assuming that the ionosphere and the telluric charge distribution can be approximated using conducting parallel plates. It shows net excess positive charge distribution in the upper boundary of ionosphere and net excess negative charge distribution in the low boundary.
There are positive charge distribution in PBL and the telluric charge distribution underground. The amount of induced positive charges by the lunar PVN is […] to the lunar side in the upper boundary of ionosphere, in which the amount of induced charges by the lunar PVN is about 4 orders smaller than the solar PVN. Hence, the gravitational anomaly should be caused not by the lunar PVN effect but by the electrical conductivity changes when the moon blocks the solar radiation.
The response in PBL due to the solar eclipse is much small compared to the responses of ionospheric layers since the ionization process in PBL is not directly related to the solar radiation and the electrical conductivity in the PBL much smaller than in the ionosphere, in which the relaxation time is […] nearby the surface but ~ 4 sec at 18 km and […] at 70 km.
When the moon blocks the solar radiation, the electrical conductivity is getting reduced in the atmosphere. Since the ionization process in upper atmosphere is much more dependent to the solar radiation, the reduction of conductivity in the upper atmosphere is much bigger than in low atmosphere. Therefore, the net excess charge density in the low boundary of ionosphere should be lower in the lunar shadow (umbra and penumbra of the solar eclipse) than the outside of the shadow.
These variations in ionosphere and PBL, in turn, affects to the telluric charge distribution to minimize the electric effect in the low atmosphere as shown in Fig. (8-b), in which the relaxation time is […].
If the solar PVN effect is uniform and constant during the solar eclipse, these charge distributions as shown in Fig. (8-b) should be followed along with the moon’s shadow that sweeps across the earth’s surface with velocity […] from West to East. Since the electrical equilibrium state as in the Fig. (8-b) cannot be reached instantly but should be delayed due to the sweeping speed, there can be downward currents from the upper ionosphere and inward currents into the shadow region of the low boundary of ionosphere. However, the major contribution of these induced currents should be alongside the earth’s magnetic field lines since the parallel conductivity is much higher than the Pedersen conductivity and Hall conductivity in ionosphere.
If the electrical conductivity underground for telluric charges is not affected by the solar eclipse but uniform at least in horizontal direction, the induced telluric charge distribution cannot be the same as in the low boundary of ionosphere, especially, nearby the boundary of penumbra (the first and the fourth contacts) in which the telluric charge density is smaller than the ionospheric charge density at the low boundary as shown in the Fig. (8-b).
As shown in section (3.1), gravitational field is not changed as long as the interaction strength to the induced positive charge distribution is the same but in the opposite direction as to the induced negative charge distribution.
Due to the charge density difference nearby the boundary of penumbra in the Fig. (8-b), net positive charge effect (at PBL including telluric charges) on the gravitational field is bigger than the negative charge effect (at the low boundary of the ionosphere); thus, it is appeared as the gravitational reduction on the surface of the earth.
If the electric field intensity nearby the low boundary of the ionosphere is […], the electric field effect from the charge density difference nearby the boundary of penumbra can be estimated as […]. It is corresponded to […] from the Eqn (6).
Actually, the gravity reduction in east side of penumbra area can be bigger than the west side area because of the earth’s rotation. It has been observed that there is a slightly difference in the variation of the gravity in west side and east side of penumbra areas.
Furthermore, the variation of apparent vertical direction of the gravity field can be appeared nearby the edge of the penumbra. All these variations of gravity should be dependent on the ionospheric condition, and the variations of electric field and magnetic field also should be accompanied.