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Investigating The Physical Mechanisms That Impact Electric Fields In The Atmosphere, Greg M. Lucas
Aerospace Engineering Sciences Graduate Theses & Dissertations
The underlying physics and dynamics of the atmosphere drive electric currents and establish electric fields in a phenomenon known as the global electric circuit (GEC). The GEC has been observed and modeled with limiting assumptions and parameterizations in previous research. This thesis describes the incorporation of a physics-based GEC modeling scheme into a sophisticated climate model to describe the evolution of GEC currents, ground-ionosphere potential, electric fields, and conductivity within the atmosphere. Supporting measurements of atmospheric electric fields over time were used to describe the impact of local meteorological changes and assess the GEC contribution to near-surface electric fields.