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ICAE Fall 2000 News Letter


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The 2001 International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity (ICOLSE) will take place September 11-13, 2001, in Seattle, Washington, as part of the Aerospace Congress and Exhibition (ACE). For more information visit http://www.sae.org/calendar/ico/cfp.htm.

IAGA 2001

The International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy Conference will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, August 19-31, 2001. Two sessions of special interest to Newsletter readers are planned, one treating sprites and other middle atmosphere electrical phenomena (Dave Sentman and H. Fukunishi, Co-Convenors) and one concerned with giant positive discharges (Earle Williams and Martin Fullekrug, Co-Convenors). The abstract deadline is February 1, 2001. Abstracts should also be submitted to the Convenors listed above. Invited talks are also planned. Excellent opportunities here for direct interaction with tropical thunderstorms in Southeast Asia!

Web site: www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/

The details on the two Special Sessions are as follows:

GAII 1: Transient Effects of Lightning on the Middle and Upper Atmosphere: Sprites and Other Effects

With the recent unexpected discovery of red sprites, blue jets, ELVES, and other optical lightning after-effects in the middle and upper atmosphere above very active thunderstorms, there has occurred an explosion of research activity to investigate their significance within the context of the larger terrestrial machine. Investigators of middle and upper atmosphere effects of lightning are invited to submit abstracts on all aspects of this new discipline, including relationship to the global electrical circuit, global distribution, underlying meteorology, microphysics and transport dynamics, spectroscopy, electromagnetic signatures, electrochemistry and atmospheric chemistry effects, ionospheric and magnetospheric effects, possible extraterrestrial equivalents, and methods and problems of remote sensing. Of special interest are papers devoted to the study of these new phenomena associated with active thunderstorm regions of South and Southeast Asia, Japan, the Malay Archipelago, and the Western Pacific.

Convenor: D.D. Sentman (Physics Department and Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775, U.S.A.; Tel: +1-907-474-6442; Fax: +1-907-474-7290, E-mail: dsentman@gi.alaska.edu. Co-Convenor: H. Fukunishi.

GAII 2: Physics and Global Behavior of Giant Lightning Discharges

Scientific interest in a class of exceptionally energetic lightning discharges has greatly intensified in recent years. Cloud-to-ground flashes with positive polarity stand out in this category. These events are clearly identified with the largest single excitations ('Q' bursts) of the Schumann resonances in the Earth-ionosphere cavity. Many such events are causal to sprites, elves and trolls with a polarity bias that is currently not well understood. These discharges exhibit large continuing currents whose role in sprite initiation and maintenance is only now being explored. Many giant discharges are associated with a special phase of mesoscale convection characterized by modest vertical air motion (<1 m/s), large horizontal extent (>50 km) and radar bright band, whose ice microphysics is still poorly understood. The vertical channels to ground are linked aloft with laterally extensive 'spider' lightnings, structures only now being mapped with RF time-of-arrival methods. The charge transfers by these discharges are 1-2 orders of magnitude larger than ordinary lightnings. Positive charge transfers to Earth appear to discharge the DC global circuit. This Symposium seeks contributions on all aspects of giant discharges: their physical origin and microphysical basis, their mesoscale meteorological context, their characterization by the National Lightning Detection Network and particularly by lightning networks in the Eastern Hemisphere, their 3D structure as disclosed by RF analysis, their global distribution and land/ocean contrast, their relationship with mesospheric sprites, elves and trolls, their relationship with the background Schumann resonances, with ELF 'slow tails' and with ordinary lightning activity, their use as a diagnostic for the D-region of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide, their global variation on various time scales, and their possible links with giant lightning in the Jovian atmosphere.

Convenors: E.R. Williams (Parsons Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA; Tel: +1-617-253-2459, Fax:+1-781-981-0632, E-mail: earlew@ll.mit.edu. Co-Convenor: M. Fullekrug.


The 5th International Workshop on Physics of Lightning will take place September 10-13, 2001, in Nagoya-Japan. The main subjects of interest are:

  1. Thunderstorm Electrification and Atmospheric Electricity
  2. Lightning phenomenology and meteorology
  3. Lightning discharge physics
  4. Lightning detection and protection
  5. Lightning and Human Beings
  6. Lightning and Atmospheric Environment

The deadline for abstracts submission is December 1st, 2000. More details on the web site: http://eism.elcom.nitech.ac.jp/~iwpl/index.html


The 26th General Assembly of the EUROPEAN GEOPHYSICAL SOCIETY will be held at the Acropolis Congress Centre, Nice, FRANCE, 25-30 March 2001. The deadline for abstracts submission is 01 December 2000. For further details see web site:



The 2000 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will take place in San Francisco, USA, December 15–19, 2000. The abstracts submission deadline was September 1, 2000. More details on the web site: www.agu.org/meetings. Vlad Rakov (CASE chair) reports:

Following a long-established tradition, AGU's Committee on Atmospheric and Space Electricity (CASE) will meet at the 2000 Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco on Monday December 18, 5:30-7:30, room 272 at Moscone Center. The CASE meeting is open to all who attend the Fall AGU Meeting. Please let me know if you have items (particularly those related to upcoming opportunities for collaboration) to place on the agenda for the CASE meeting.


The 2001 Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union will take place in Boston, USA, May 29 – June 2, 2001. The abstracts submission deadline is March 1, 2001. More information on the web site: www.agu.org/meetings.

IAMAS 2001

The next assembly of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, 10 - 18 July, 2001. The abstracts submission deadline is February 16, 2001. One session of special interest to Newsletter readers is cosponsored by ICAE: Symposium 7.6: The global effect of thunderstorm-produced NOx on tropospheric ozone; ICACGP, ICAE IOC-ICAE, ICCP.

Convenors: James Dye, Mesoscale and Macroscale Meteorology Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA, e-mail: dye@ncar.ucar.edu. Hartmut Hoeller, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany; e-mail: hartmut.hoeller@dlr.ge. Kenneth Pickering, University of Maryland, USA, e-mail: pickerin@metosrv2.umd.edu.

More information is available on the web site: http://iamas.org/

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