12th Conference on Cloud Physics


NOx Production in Laboratory Simulated Blue Jet and Sprite Discharges

Harold Peterson, DRI, Reno, NV; and M. Bailey, J. Hallett, and W. Beasley

Stratospheric and upwards directed electrical discharges, collectively referred to as transient luminous events (TLE's), are currently receiving much attention. Aircraft measurements above thunderstorms in addition to satellite measurements of the stratosphere have revealed anomalously high NOx levels near thunderstorm complexes, levels which are not apparently explained by normal lightning production or diffusion through the troposphere from natural or anthropogenic sources. New laboratory discharge experiments under stratospheric pressure conditions, simulating altitudes of 20-70 km, have revealed surprisingly high NOx production levels. These measurements appear to indicate that NOx production by jets and sprites are significant with respect to the NOx and ozone chemistry of the upper atmosphere.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (608K)

Poster Session 2, Cloud Physics Poster Session II
Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 5:00 PM-7:00 PM, Grand Terrace

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