|Lightning & Atmospheric Electricity
Atmospheric electricians study all of the electrical phenomena in the atmosphere. There is lightning from cloud to ground or within clouds, as well as red sprites, blue jets and elves, all electromagnetic phenomena in the upper stratosphere and ionosphere. All of these phenomena leave electromagnetic signatures. Lightning alone creates large changes in electric fields, magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) at a variety of frequencies. Lightning also produces light and heat, and it seems also to produce X-rays, and perhaps gamma rays.
|Convection & Planetary Atmospheres
NMT’s Convection and Dynamics Group concerns itself with the mechanisms governing circulations in the atmosphere of the earth and of other planets. Convection is emphasized because it plays a central, but often poorly understood role in these circulations. Current work includes developing a better understanding of convective weather disturbances in the tropical regions of the earth’s atmosphere and in inferring the character of the flows in the atmospheres of the outer planets from observations made by space probes.
|Middle & Upper Atmosphere
The middle and upper atmospheric physics group studies a wide range of phenomena related to the dynamics, chemistry, and radiative processes in the stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere — basically everything above about 10 km altitude. Much of our research involves interpretation of remote sensing data from Earth observing satellites. We study processes related to chemical ozone destruction and the polar ozone hole, water vapor in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and extratropical stratosphere/troposphere exchange.