132 Electric Hurricanes: Review of Recent Advances Supporting Electromagnetic Cyclogenesis

Thursday, 3 April 2014
Golden Ballroom (Town and Country Resort )
Arnold Benn, IEEE, Newport Beach, CA

This presentation is a review of recent advances that support electromagnetic cyclogenesis (hurricane formation). We present a general overview of the current meteorological theory of cyclogenesis, as well as evidence supporting an alternative theory of cyclogenesis based on an essential electromagnetic driving force of solar origin.

We review Birkeland's current filaments and his terrella experiments, as well as Alfvén's plasma cosmology in verifying solar wind as the cause of the aurora borealis phenomenon. This relationship is confirmed through the effects of solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on lower-latitude auroral activity and disruptions in telecommunications and ground-based electrical networks. Recent publications on trans-equatorial field-aligned currents (TEFACs) confirm observations from Birkeland's experiments of field-aligned ionospheric currents flowing over the equator from one tropical zone to the other. We then review electric discharge pathways through the depth of the Earth's atmosphere as evidenced by lightning and upper atmosphere glow discharges called transitory luminous events (TLEs), also known as Sprites and Elves. Finally, the literature provides evidence of a direct correlation between solar magnetic events and cyclogenesis, supporting the Sun's causal role in cyclogenesis.

As a consequence, we propose a model for the mechanism of electromagnetic cyclogenesis whereby electrical surges in incoming solar wind (caused by CMEs) provide the driving force. They cause electrical discharges through the terrestrial system, which causes current to flow along trans-equatorial field lines all the way down to the terrestrial surface. These vertical electric currents through the plasma-rich tropospheric atmosphere result in a spiral vortex. We further suggest approaches to modeling the magnetic field regions associated with these electric currents, and why these field geometries result in spiral vortices. Finally we present implications and predictions of the model, which include tropopause Langmuir double layer properties, and thunderstorms as manifestations of the planetary electrical system rather than generators of its potential difference.

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