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(Refreshments served)Time: 1:30–2:30 pm Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Location: CG1 – 1210 South Auditorium (also webcast at http://www.fin.ucar.edu/it/mms/cg-live.htm) Title: Chasing Franklin's kite: The Global Electric Circuit Abstract:
The Global Electric Circuit is a system of currents spanning from the troposphere to the ionosphere. Currents totalling 1-2 kA are generated by thunderstorms, which charge the ionosphere to approx. 250 kV, and return to the Earth's surface in fair-weather regions. The presentation will review the history of this electrifying research field, and discuss motivations for the renewed interest. Further, an introduction to measurements and theory will be given, and some recent findings will be presented. Focusing on electrical conductivity, the effects of the solar cycle, volcanic eruptions, and non-electrified clouds on the Global Electric Circuit will be discussed.