Infrared glow above thunderstorms?

R. H. Picard, U. S. Inan, V. P. Pasko, J. R. Winick, P. P. Wintersteiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Sustained heating of lower ionospheric electrons by thundercloud fields, as recently suggested by Inan et al. [1996], may lead to the production of enhanced infrared (IR) emissions, in particular 4.3-μm CO2 emission. The excitation rate for N2(v) via electron collisions is calculated using a new steady-state two-dimensional electrostatic-heating (ESH) model of the upward coupling of the thundercloud (TC) electric fields. The vibrational energy transfer to CO2 and 4.3-μm radiative transfer are then computed using a line-by-line non-LTE (non-local thermodynamic equilibrium) radiation model. Limb-viewing radiance profiles at 4.3-μm and typical radiance spectra are estimated for five different TC charge distributions and ambient ionic conductivities. Broadband 4.3-μm enhancements of greater than a factor of two above ambient nighttime levels are predicted for tangent heights (TH) in the range ∼80 to >130 km for the most perturbed case, with larger enhancements in selected narrower spectral regions. The predicted IR enhancements should be observable to an orbiting IR sensor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number97GL02753
Pages (from-to)2635-2638
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume24
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

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thundercloud
thunderstorms
thunderstorm
luminescence
radiance
augmentation
heating
electron
thermodynamic equilibrium
limbs
tangents
charge distribution
radiative transfer
ionospherics
ion currents
limb
electric field
electron scattering
conductivity
collision

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Picard, R. H., Inan, U. S., Pasko, V. P., Winick, J. R., & Wintersteiner, P. P. (1997). Infrared glow above thunderstorms? Geophysical Research Letters, 24(21), 2635-2638. [97GL02753]. https://doi.org/10.1029/97GL02753
Picard, R. H. ; Inan, U. S. ; Pasko, V. P. ; Winick, J. R. ; Wintersteiner, P. P. / Infrared glow above thunderstorms?. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 1997 ; Vol. 24, No. 21. pp. 2635-2638.
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Picard, RH, Inan, US, Pasko, VP, Winick, JR & Wintersteiner, PP 1997, 'Infrared glow above thunderstorms?', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 24, no. 21, 97GL02753, pp. 2635-2638. https://doi.org/10.1029/97GL02753

Infrared glow above thunderstorms? / Picard, R. H.; Inan, U. S.; Pasko, V. P.; Winick, J. R.; Wintersteiner, P. P.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 24, No. 21, 97GL02753, 01.01.1997, p. 2635-2638.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Picard RH, Inan US, Pasko VP, Winick JR, Wintersteiner PP. Infrared glow above thunderstorms? Geophysical Research Letters. 1997 Jan 1;24(21):2635-2638. 97GL02753. https://doi.org/10.1029/97GL02753