ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2022, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 267-276

Thunderstorm activity and vortex structures in the atmosphere

N.I. Izhovkina 1 , S.N. Artekha 2 , N.S. Erokhin 2 , L.A. Mikhailovskaya 2 
1 Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation RAS, Troitsk, Moscow, Russia
2 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 09.02.2022
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2022-19-1-267-276
Ionization of aerosol in the stratosphere and upper troposphere by precipitating particles of cosmic rays enhances the vortex activity of the atmosphere. An important role of the aerosol admixture is manifested in the generation of plasma vortices and the accumulation of energy and mass by the vortices in the atmosphere during moisture condensation. Due to the cascade nature of the ionization process, the effect of cosmic radiation turns out to be nonlinear. In plasma inhomogeneities, aperiodic electrostatic disturbances are stochastically excited, which play a significant role in the genesis of vortices. It is shown that the process of amplification of vortex structures in the atmosphere is influenced by feedback. The manifestation of feedbacks is stimulated by thunderstorm activity. Electromagnetic waves emitted by lightning discharges cause precipitation of particles of the Earth’s radiation belts, in particular, protons of the inner radiation belt with an energy of about 100 MeV. Ionization of aerosols in cascades of precipitating particles promotes the excitation of plasma MHD-mechanisms in the geomagnetic field. When Rossby vortices interact with plasma vortices, the atmospheric vortex structures intensify with increasing pressure gradients. Lightning discharges are associated with plasma vortices. With the growth of thunderstorm activity, fires in dry thunderstorms intensify the pumping of pollution into the atmosphere. With an increase in the concentration of contaminants, the plasma vortex activity and the associated thunderstorm activity increase.
Keywords: atmospheric vortex structures, electrostatic disturbances in plasma inhomogeneities, cellular structures in lightning discharges, feedback
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