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No. 7: June 1979

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The sun controls the earth's global electrical circuit

Data collected from electrosondes (balloons measuring atmospheric electrical currents) over the Antarctic ice caps infer that solar flares stimulate large surges in the flow of electrical charge from the upper atmosphere to the earth's surface. Because this unidirectional flow of fair-weather electricity must ultimately be balanced by thunderstorms somewhere on the planet, it follows that the frequency and severity of terrestrial thunderstorms are dictated, at least on the average, by solar activity. Formerly, global circuit theory had it that the thunderstorms themselves were the driving force behind the fairweather current flow. Now it seems that the sun calls the tune and that thunderstorms do not arise at random.

(Anonymous; "Solar Activity and Terrestrial Thunderstorms," New Scientist, 81:256, 1979.)

From Science Frontiers #7, June 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987