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  • Article
  • Open Access

The contribution of sprites to the global atmospheric electric circuit

  • 112 and
  • 212
Earth, Planets and Space200658:BF03352009

  • Received: 20 September 2005
  • Accepted: 5 April 2006
  • Published:


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

  • Sprites
  • lightning
  • global circuit