Currents from above or from below?
In this thread I have suggested that Earth’s geological activity is a product of an electrical discharge between Earth and its environment.
This discharge exists because Earth is not electrically ‘at rest’ with its environment, this situation has arisen due to Earth’s potential and/or the Earth’s environment potential changing ‘recently’.
This change was initially catastrophic.
Prior to this ‘recent’ change Earth was very different geologically.
Today, the discharge powers all manner of tectonic and atmospheric phenomena.
An announcement from the European Space Agency (ESA) suggested that a ‘jet-stream’ exists at the Earth’s core but is this really so?
Recently, the ESA Swarm
mission discovered ‘supersonic plasma jets’. The jets were sandwiched between Birkeland Currents, these ‘…currents carry up to 1 TW of electric power to the upper atmosphere – about 30 times the energy consumed in New York during a heatwave.’
‘While much is known about these current systems, recent observations by Swarm
have revealed that they are associated with large electrical fields…These fields, which are strongest in the winter, occur where upwards and downwards Birkeland currents connect through the ionosphere.’
‘Bill Archer from the University of Calgary explained, “Using data from the Swarm
satellites’ electric field instruments, we discovered that these strong electric fields drive supersonic plasma jets.’
‘“The jets, which we call ‘Birkeland current boundary flows’, mark distinctly the boundary between current sheets moving in opposite direction and lead to extreme conditions in the upper atmosphere.’
‘“They can drive the ionosphere to temperatures approaching 10,000°C and change its chemical composition. They also cause the ionosphere to flow upwards to higher altitudes where additional energisation can lead to loss of atmospheric material to space.”’
The location of the ‘supersonic plasma jets’ is not too dissimilar to that of the ‘jet-stream’ supposedly at the Earth’s core, how likely is it that the two observations are actually related. In my opinion, very likely, the two phenomena are probably part of the same discharge and the ‘jet-stream’ at the core in my opinion is more likely to be a near-surface effect.
Another finding from the Swarm
mission is that the magnetosphere is asymmetrical, Birkeland Currents in the northern and southern hemispheres differ. ‘In fact, the two geomagnetic poles are not geometrically opposite to one another, and the magnetic field intensity is also not the same in the north as in the south.’
We appear to have one magnetosphere but two individual Birkeland Currents! I have previously suggested that currents flow to Earth from a region where free electrons are available in greater numbers and not being usurped by the Sun, this is why all magnetotails extend in the anti-sunward direction. I see it being highly likely that the two Birkeland Currents behave differently over the course of an Earth orbit because they are sourcing electrons from slightly different regions plus we would expect any dynamical changes induced from coronal mass ejections, for example, to evolve differentially in each hemisphere.
It was also found that the electric field associated with the ‘supersonic plasma jets’ was strongest in winter (northern hemisphere) when Earth is closest to the Sun; perhaps at this time Earth’s magnetotail is forced to extend farther in the anti-sunward direction in search of collectible electrons?
All of this may seem a long way from geological activity but spacecraft have mapped Birkeland Currents from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere (http://sci.esa.int/cluster/56098-seven-esa-satellites-team-up-to-explore-earths-magnetic-field/
) how big is the next step- realising that it is the electrical nature of Earth and its environment that powers global tectonic activity?