Publications by Karen Aplin

Electricity in the Atmosphere: Ions in the Atmosphere

in Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences: Second Edition, (2014) 9-13

KL Aplin, RG Harrison

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Earth's atmosphere, like all planetary atmospheres, is constantly ionized by cosmic rays. Close to the surface, natural radioactivity is the dominant source of ionization. This article describes the generation and physical characteristics of atmospheric cluster-ions, including their size, composition, transport, and electrical properties, and gives an overview of relevant measurement technologies. The role of cluster-ions in weather and climate through modulating atmospheric particle formation and a range of other electrical effects is summarized. Nomenclature and categorization of atmospheric cluster-ions, and the properties of ions in the indoor environment are also briefly discussed.

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