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Spring 2002
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ICAE Spring 2002 News Letter


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Zen Kawasaki announced Dr. Takeuti death: Dr. Toshio Takeuti passed away on December 24, 2001. Dr. Takeuti and his colleague Prof. Minoru Nakano discovered the natural positive lightning discharges during winter thunderstorms in Hokuriku Coast, Japan in early 70s. After their discovery Marx Brook came to Japan to carry out a cooperative field campaign, and the existence positive lightning flashes and their anomalous features became quite well known. Dr. Takeuti's contribution to our community is very enormous, and we want to pray for his long and peaceful sleep.



The European Science Foundation (ESF, see webpage at http://www.esf.org) supports a scientific network on Space Processes and Electrical Changes Influencing Atmospheric Layers (SPECIAL, see webpage at http://sgo.fi/SPECIAL). In this interdisciplinary area, possible links between changes of energetic charged particle fluxes and of weather and climate occurring via electrical processes in the atmosphere are investigated by studying solar activity, magnetospheric variability, clouds, thunderstorms and lightning. The approach is based on the physical mechanisms by which space weather and the Earth's weather are causally linked. The energy input to different atmospheric layers, from above and below is considered, as is the energy transfer from one location to the other.

The SPECIAL scientific network has held three meetings since 1999, which engendered considerable interdisciplinary discussion and research. During the most recent SPECIAL meeting, from Jan. 3-6, in Cambridge, UK, the SPECIAL community (currently appr. 40 scientists from Europe and Russia) started to plan for a larger scientific project in which atmospheric electrodynamic processes in the atmosphere and their relation to climate are being investigated.Seven different workpackages and representatives have been identified:

  • WP1: Ionosphere: (Thomas Ulich: thu @ sgo.fi )
  • WP2: Cosmic rays and energetic particles (Mikhail Pudovkin: pudovkin @ snoopy.phys.spbu.ru)
  • WP3: Solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (Oleg Troshichev: olegtro @ aari.nw.ru)
  • WP4: Sprites and lightning (Torsten Neubert: neubert @ dsri.dk)
  • WP5: Global circuit (Brian Tinsley: tinsley @ utdallas.edu)
  • WP6: Cloud microphysics (Giles Harrison: r.g.harrison @ reading.ac.uk)
  • WP7: Schumann resonances and climate (Colin Price: colin.price @ ec.gc.ca)

The SPECIAL community intends to place a bid for a large scale collaboration to the European Commission. The next meeting will most likely be held at the beginning of the year 2003 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Further contributions from the scientific communities in space weather and the Earth's weather research are strongly encouraged. Please contact the respective workpackage representatives in this regard.



The American Geophysical Union's new electronic journal, Editor's Choice-Atmospheric Electricity is off to a strong start. The address is:


The journal editor is, Collection Editor: Richard E. Orville, Texas A&M University; with an Advisory Panel: Vladimir A. Rakov, University of Florida; David D. Sentman, University of Alaska.

Contact the AGU for a subscription which will provide access to this journal. No hard copy is available unless you choose to print an article.



VAISALA Group, has acquired the company Global Atmospherics, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, USA, well-known for its long range lightning detection sensors and networks, as well as for owning and operating the National Lightning Detection Network® in the USA and participating in several international data ventures. In early 2000, Vaisala acquired another lightning detection network manufacturer, Dimensions SA of France, which currently belongs to the Remote Sensing Division of Vaisala. It is currently the leading manufacturer of VHF technology Total Lightning Detection Networks. For more information, visit the websites: http://www.lightningstorm.com, and http://www.vaisala.com.



Earle Williams informs:

Academic Microforms in London has recently reported that the transfer to microfilm of the 50 volumes of research notebooks of C.T.R. Wilson, archived at the library of the Royal Society, is now complete.  The copy will be transferred to the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland for general access.

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