Fires in California
- Looks like another banner fire season for California and the west.
The fire season normally doesn't start for 4 more weeks but we
decided to start it early this year. All these effects of a warming
of only 0.7C are pretty impressive. Boy just think what another 2.0C
will do. 4.0C???
About 12 years ago I had my first jury trial in Corona where the
fires are burning.
The weather/climate and legal history there is very important to our
discussion on tropical storms, it turns out. Just south of Corona is
a 'lake' called the Sultan Sea. It was created 100 years ago when the
Colorado burst a levy. The past 100 years has been a history of
gerrymandering the Colorado, and the result is nothing actually flows
into the Colorado's delta. The long inlet there is called the Sea of
Cortez or Gulf of California. It is extremely ELECTRICALLY
significant as far as a flow of the so called sub tropical jet
stream, which can bring moisture from the tropics to the southwestern
US. Corona typically gets monsoonal thunderstorms, particularly at
elevations, but that isn't as much the case anymore, as obviously
it's dry. The SW is in the midst of an 1,800 drought. Since then I
have moved northwest to Redding, and I have lived the patterns and am
starting to understand them--what happens electrically. I also have
spent some time in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas, where two sisters
and two bothers have lived.
The best way to understand what is occurring is to consider central
Africa. That is the most struck place in the world, and also the
place where our CV seasoon begins to bring us waves. But for purposes
of this discusion, it is also electrically proximate to the Sahara
As some of you may well know, at one point not so long ago the Sahara
was green--a savanah, not a desert. The change from grasslands to
desert, or the desertification, took about 300 years. Previously,
this change has been blamed on the Milankovitch cycle, which is a
cycle about the radiative balances that income to places on earth
given its tilt, orbit and wobble. As many of you are aware, I
consider Milankovitch important but only part of the complex picture
that includes not just the radiation that comes to different places,
but also how that radiation is patterned relative to the electrical
particles that come from the sun. IOWs that the sun is both radiative
AND electrical, and that is what the macrobiosphere must deal with to
produce living conditions not just for the Sahara but for the whole
of the biosphere.
Central Africa, struck with lightning as much as it is, causes
incredibly huge positive charges in the lower ionosphere just south
of the Sahara. Since there is a very warm and salty Mediterranean Sea
that is uniformly conductive for general lack of microbial life, that
positive charge ends up coupling quite strongly with that Sea and
between the electrons on the surface of the Sea and the protons
concentrated in the lower ionosphere, any ice attempting to form in
between these largescale fields elongates and forms slowly in
relation to the thunderstorms rolling across central Africa.
Therefore, what little water in the air ends up diffusing south to
those storms, and the desert gets very little rainfall.
Likewise, in the west, they have a similar problem. Thunderstorms in
the so called tornado alley create huge displacement currents between
the Pacific Ocean and the west coast. If you take a look at a Pacific
sat shot right now you will see the clouds running full on north to
That's because, again, there is a very strong positive current in the
ionosphere along the coast, created from the east, and the ocean ends
up with electrons on the surface, and water then diffuses away, and a
high pressure area forms. This pushes fronts north.
At the same time, there is the earth EMF. The one of interest is just
about at the north end of Hudson Bay. There is another node north of
Europe, but it's enough to talk about this node at this time. What
that node does is bring the solar wind particles, in this case
electrons (The north pole is like a south pole in a bar magnet, or
one that has a positive orientation. Therefore, solar winds with a
negative charge or electrons, will be attracted to the closing
isobars of that pole). Those electrons then cause a wave of clouds
that are amplified, moving south. This is all about signal noise, in
other words, about how the weak currents of the solar wind may or may
not produce cloud patterns, since the dielectric of water is about 80
times that of air, and the charges separated out by thunderstorm
activity is a much more powerful current compared to that solar wind.
Lately, IMHO due to climate changes from CO2 not as much as a green
house gas but from its conductivity property from gas exchange, that
node over Hudson Bay has WEAKENED substantially. Likewise, with the
Colorado River flowing or I should say NOT flowing to the Gulf of
California, that wave of electrical conditions that can stretch from
the Hudson Bay all the way to the Gulf of California has not been
nearly as strong, and the result is poor moisture flow into this
area. Colorado, Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, parts of the
upper Midwest, have all suffered from drought.
Later in the season, as the pattern sets in, it begins to impact the
way tropical waves move in the Gulf of Mexico, which brings me to the
Sultan Sea. While there are no records of tropical storms in the East
Pacific from Unisys before WWII, if you look at turn of the last
century tropical storms in the western Gulf of Mexico, they seem to
have been reduced by Salton Sea disaster . . .
Of course, on my mind isn't a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, but
how a strong pattern change, a strong displacement current that is
ongoing and coupling with the Pacific and the Gulf of California,
could dry out the Southwest and make the Majove Desert extend from
San Francisco to Mexico and then along the path of the sub tropical
jet over Colorado and to the upper midwest . . .
> At the same time, there is the earth EMF. The one of interest is justThis part confuses me, Mike. Can you describe the mechanism by which
> about at the north end of Hudson Bay. There is another node north of
> Europe, but it's enough to talk about this node at this time. What
> that node does is bring the solar wind particles, in this case
> electrons (The north pole is like a south pole in a bar magnet, or
> one that has a positive orientation. Therefore, solar winds with a
> negative charge or electrons, will be attracted to the closing
> isobars of that pole). Those electrons then cause a wave of clouds
> that are amplified, moving south. This is all about signal noise, in
> other words, about how the weak currents of the solar wind may or may
> not produce cloud patterns, since the dielectric of water is about 80
> times that of air, and the charges separated out by thunderstorm
> activity is a much more powerful current compared to that solar wind.
electrons cause cloud amplification? I'm familiar with the theory
that says cosmic rays can influence low cloud formation, but cosmic
rays, actually being heavy ion nuclei generated by supernovas, are
vastly larger and more massive than electrons.
To be accurate, the solar wind never penetrates beyond Earth's
magnetosphere. That's one reason why we still have an atmosphere and
Mars doesn't, or at least not much of one. What happens when the
Earth's magnetosphere is hit by a solar wind gust or CME is that
electrons are accelerated down Earth's magnetic field lines. These
are not electrons from the solar wind, however. Rather, they are
electrons that are trapped "in storage" by the magnetic field. They
orbit around the magnetic field lines, at an angle 90 degrees offset
from the field line direction. The incoming solar wind blast somehow
knock loose the electrons, and down they come along the magnetic field
The exact mechanism by which this occurs, and exactly how aurora are
tied to magnetic field disturbances, isn't clearly understood. In
fact, NASA is launching 5 satellites in 2007 as part of the THEMIS
program, which will hopefully help answer these questions.
- And by the way, when I first came to this club, I was very, very
sceptical of the whole idea of an electrical influence on climate. I
must admit, however, that you have presented some compelling evidence.