Dust-Devil Dynamo

1 min read

Researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor showed that natural electric fields as strong as 160 kilovolts per meter play a role in determining the amount of dust that makes it into the atmosphere, where it can influence weather and climate. Electric charge reduces the amount of wind needed to blow sand around and can directly lift dust off the ground. Scientists first noticed electricity’s influence when examining dust devils in the desert but had to develop a new kind of electric field analyzer to quantify it.

More at /mar08/dynamo

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