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Open Access

The contribution of sprites to the global atmospheric electric circuit

  • Martin Füllekrug112 and
  • Michael J. Rycroft212
Earth, Planets and Space200658:BF03352009

Received: 20 September 2005

Accepted: 5 April 2006

Published: 29 September 2006


The global static electric field in the global atmospheric electric circuit resulting from mesospheric sprite discharges is inferred from a coupled model for the global static and dynamic electric fields derived from Maxwell’s equations. It is found that the global atmospheric electric field from individual sprites is 44 mV/m, which can be measured with conventional ULF/ELF radio wave antennas at frequencies 4 Hz.

Key words

Spriteslightningglobal circuit