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November 9, 2020

Steve Rutledge will present virtual seminar hosted by NASA JPL

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Climate Sciences will host an invited talk by Professor Steve Rutledge at noon (MST) Thursday, Nov. 19, as part of its Distinguished Climate Lecture series. Title, abstract and WebEx meeting info are below.

“Atmospheric Electricity, Lightning and Convection”

Benjamin Franklin is considered to be the father of modern-day studies of atmospheric electricity, starting with his famous sentry box experiment in 1749. This clever but risky experiment demonstrated that convective clouds are electrified, yet, even today, there is not a complete theory for how electrified clouds lead to lightning. In this talk I will first discuss the role of thunderstorms in maintaining the global circuit. Some have argued that long-term monitoring of the global circuit can yield information about climate change. Current theories for cloud electrification will then be summarized. Charge structures and lightning flash rates as measured by Very High Frequency (VHF) Lightning Mapping Arrays will be presented, leading to a discussion of how lightning is tied to cloud dynamical and microphysical processes. Finally, data from the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will be discussed, in particular for so called “electrically inverted” storms. I will also touch on land-ocean lightning differences and the sensitivity of convection to increasing aerosol concentrations.

Meeting link
Meeting number (access code): 199 161 6708
Meeting password: CCSDISTINGUISHED