By Yevgeny DYOMIN, Cand. Sc. (Tech.), Consultant- Designer, Russian Automatic Devices Testing Center
According to weather forecasters, the main factors responsible for climate changes include the El-Nino oceanic current, the hothouse effect and the thermal regime of the two great oceans-the Pacific and the Atlantic. Meanwhile, as often as not experts come across anomalies which do not fit into the commonly accepted models of climate. This suggests the obvious question about some natural geophysical factors which are not registered by our conventional instruments and therefore escape the attention of specialists.
Over the past few decades mankind has been the hostage of weather cataclysms like some unpredictable severe droughts in some regions or/and heavy rains and catastrophic floods in others-both causing severe material damage and loss of lives. The list includes the devastating tornadoes in the United States, terrific hurricanes in India, catastrophic showers in France, Peru, and Venezuela, and the snow-fall of unprecedented intensity which hit Canada in January of 1998.
Weather anomalies have also increased in number in regions with traditionally stable weather. The Moscow region, for example, has been hit over the period from 1998 to 2000 by a heavy snow-fall in the middle of April, a devastating hurricane on a night in June, a hail shower in July with the area being bombarded with chunk of ice the size of a chicken egg, and heavy showers all of which came as a complete surprise, paralyzing the normal life and activities of the multi-million metropolis.
In June 1984, the Volga River valley was hit by a devastating storm. At the time of its formation, which was early in the morning, gravity measuring instruments recorded an anomaly along its path. Later on, however, these measurements returned back to normal. The question before specialists was-has that been a mere coincidence?
We have all been accustomed to constant changes in atmospheric pressure. The pressure of a column of air on the ground depends on many factors, including the gravitational pull. But according to gravimetrical maps, the pull changes from one area to the next one in a rather insignificant way. Mathematic models ignore its potential effect on processes in the atmosphere, especially since gravitational anomaly is a rare phenomenon, and, irrespective of its causes, it is difficult to record because its place of origin is unpredictable and its effect is of a short duration.
With all that experts in recent time have traced a dependence of atmospheric fluctuations on local gravity parameters. Some have been able to register the aforesaid gravitational
Articles in this rubric reflect the opinion of the author .-Ed.
Solar radiation heats the surface of deserts. Anticyclone draws in from troposphere air masses (1), which are warmed up while descending and then are carried away with the wind (2). Pressure changes from the center of high-pressure zone (3) towards the periphery as shown by near-ground isobars (4). GTI effect acting as a catalyst of the process.
anomaly as being attended by anomalies in atmospheric pressure.*
What experts call a difference in barometric pressure is formed between areas with a normal and anomalous values of the gravitational field. And the greater is this factor, the higher is the velocity of the frontal air currents moving between these areas. A mass of air from an area with abnormal gravity, as registered by instruments at the start of a storm, streamed into other areas where gravity remained normal. The flow of wind towards the zone of an emerging mezocyclone boosted the ascending and descending air currents promoting the formation of a devastating storm.
EXPERIMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS
As was said before, the chances of "life-size" observations of gravitational anomalies are very small. This being so, the promising direction of research consists in the physical modelling in the lab of atmospheric vortexes, or whirlwinds, which make it possible to observe the picture of their formation. And this exactly what we have been busy with in association with colleagues from the Moscow Society of Naturalists functioning at the Lomonosov State University.
In our experiments we used incandescent lamps for heating the surfaces under investigation and observed increased gravitational values within the zone of the light flux. Measurements performed with special instruments revealed a connection between the thermal regime of bodies with their gravitational parameters. In other words, rising temperature of the surface of the soil is accompanied by rising gravity and its cooling produced an opposite effect. We called this phenomenon- gravitational thermodynamic inversion (GTI). And, since in the natural conditions the temperature background of a particular area is constantly changing, this "triggers off the GTI mechanism, producing round-the-clock gravity variations. And, according to gravimetric measurements, this value can be different not only for different spots of an area, big boulders and bits of rock, but even for the darkened or illuminated spots on these objects.
If we define atmospheric pressure as the weight of a column of air, and the weight of any object as the force of its attraction to the Earth, we can assume that the periodic variations of gravitation of certain areas of the ground (together with air density and temperature and other factors) affect the value of atmospheric pressure. And this factor is ignored in weather forecasts. What is more, mathematical weather models have been developed for our planet represented as a sphere with a homogeneous internal structure whose matter is uniformly distributed allmrough its volume and whose gravitational background is roughly uniform. In actual fact the situation is different and the introduction of GTI into this habitual diagram should provide for the necessary corrections.
SAHARA-AREA OF PERMANENT ANTICYCLONE
According to our habitual views, anticyclones, as centers of high pressure, are characterized by clear weather. One classical example is the Sahara Desert which, being exposed to solar radiation, has a higher temperature than its surroundings. Here masses of air are "sucked in" from upper atmosphere.
An invisible participant in this process is GTI whose mechanism works automatically: rising temperature alters gravitation. Local geophysical factors-temperature regime and solar radiation-boost the force of attraction of air masses by the hot soil. And that means that GTI in the zone of an anticyclone, which forms a descending air current in upper and middle atmos-
* See: I. Kopylov, I. Yanitsky, "Earth-An Electric Machine?", Science in Russia, No. 3, 1995. -Ed.
Typical temperature changes with altitude for Sahara. Crosshatched are two inversion layers. Dotted line shows the temperature of the air mass in normal conditions.
phere, represents a disturbing gravitational force.
As we all know, ascending air currents appear over hot ground. But in a high-pressure area air seems to be descending. The GTI concept interprets this as a process in which gas dynamics sacrifices its leadership to gravitation. GTI is especially apparent on the border between hot sands and the cool surrounding ground where air is moving under the impact of forces directed from areas of high pressure to low-pressure ones.
Needless to say, the aforesaid is but a simplified model of atmospheric processes. To obtain a full picture one has to take into account other factors, such as the convective currents in the lower layers of air.
GTI influences atmospheric processes not just in some local area, but is producing a correlative effect upon regions at different latitudes whose thermal regime is polarized. What we have in mind is the formation of what we call inter-regional air currents. A typical example of this kind is the "air swing" between Iceland and the Azores. For the past several decades climatologists have been tracing the effect of this phenomenon on the weather in Europe, especially in winter. A certain role in the development of this "air swing" belongs to GTI.
The thing is that the high pressure over the Azores is a direct consequence of the GTI impact on the circulation of local air currents with a mechanism being similar to that described for the Sahara. In this case GTI "stimulates" atmospheric pressure, giving the "green light" to the flow of air masses into the area of low pressure-the continent of Europe.
The role of GTI is less apparent in the cyclonic activities over Iceland. But even there this role increases with rising pressure. The "red light" flashes in front of the warm air currents moving towards Europe. Then cold air currents from Antarctica easily find their way to the continent and bitter frosts set in soon.
The driving belt of the "air swing" is the difference of atmospheric pressure. The weight of a column of air depends upon thermodynamic parameters. Descending cold air is heated by the surface of the ocean and the dry land and floats up into the upper atmosphere where it cools down again. And air masses are also carried over great distances in the horizontal direction.
At the same time air responds to even insignificant ups or downs of temperature with marked expansions or compressions-changes of its density. Accordingly, denser air goes up and that with lesser density goes up. If this parameter increases somewhere, certain masses of air start flowing towards this area under the influence of GTI. The condition required for this process to take place is an apparent contrast of temperature of the atmosphere over protracted regions.
But in some local area with stable temperature of the atmosphere the role of GTI is negligible. But the atmosphere is an open thermodynamic system and the territorial integration of geophysical factors (thermodynamic regime of the atmosphere, gravitation and insulation) promotes above all the orientation of large air currents towards low-pressure areas.
At times local ground relief helps add the GTI impact to the atmospheric convective currents. When cooling ground surface rapidly reduces the temperature of the adjacent layer of air which "screens off' the masses of air above, a stationary air layer is produced over flat ground near the surface. In such cases GTI "arrests" the ascending and descending air currents, providing conditions for the formation of a stable atmospheric equilibrium. The air layer whose density increases from cooling, experiences an additional gravitational pull which is normally directed to ground surface. The leads to the formation of a zone of stagnation-smog, which can remain there for several days in a row. It can be moved away only by some external force, like wind.
Temperature inversion with smog in major cities: layer of warm air "props up" cooler air. 1-actual change of temperature; 2-change of temperature in normal conditions; crossed over is a layer of warm air between the zones of cold air.
In this kind of a situation the GTI effect does not predominate, but just promotes the process. Taking this into account, and independent from other factors, one can prognosticate the appearance of smog and try to get rid of it in populated centers.
YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW...
It was back in the 19th century that the British physicist James Maxwell established that there must be a drop of temperature in a vertical column of gas under the effect of gravity. Later on the same conclusion was made by the Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. These great men of science shared the conclusion about a potential interconnection between gravity and thermal processes in a volume of gas. In 1889 the Russian scientist Iosif Yarkovsky published the results of his observations on the link between gravity and climate-forming factors.
Today Russian researchers are investigating what they call the geodynamic impact of random gravitational anomalies upon seismic processes, anthropogenic catastrophes like the Chernobyl disaster, navigational orientation of ships and aircraft. The gleaning of facts promotes the building of an appropriate database.
Current prognostications of climate warming and its consequences with the GTI context fit in the basic respects the models suggested by climatologists, and happen to be even more pessimistic at times. Thus quantitative assessments on the basis of a hydrodynamic computer model, developed at the Prinstone Lab of Hydrodynamics of the Center of Atmospheric Studies (USA), which takes into account increased wind velocities, the frequency rate of major hurricanes, tornado and the scale of the expected losses are below the values received by the author of this article taking into account GTI.
Apart from that, since the interconnection of gravity with the thermodynamic parameters of the atmosphere is manifested most vividly at sharp changes of temperature, a warming initiates what we call a GTI impact upon the processes of divergence-something that will increase in the final analysis the "unbalance" of the planetary "weather machine".
And one more point. As we know, the geophysical conditions are no monopoly of the Earth. Most planets of the solar system possess a gas shell. This being so, the monitoring of their atmosphere is of particular importance for space missions of the future. Astronomical observations have revealed on Jupiter areas with sharp temperature contrasts. In all probability the unthinkable in our terrestrial terms hurricanes on Jupiter and on Mars are to a certain extent the consequences of GTI phenomena and the Venusian atmosphere must also be prone to them.
Summing it up, the impact of GTI on weather conditions becomes especially apparent in the conditions of regional contrasts of temperature. In the opinion of Dr. Valery Karnaukhov of the RAS Institute of Biophysics of the Cell an exothermic drop between the high and mean latitudes caused by the global warming will inevitably produce large-scale reorientation of air currents. This can result in the flooding of Siberia and other low-lying territories. And geophysicists of the Pasadena Laboratory of Jet Propulsion (USA) have established that atmospheric disturbances, like relocations of great masses of air, can cause Chandler oscillations of planet poles. Thus what we are facing now is a cause-and-effect connection between a technocratic warming of the atmosphere and changes of the geophysical conditions on our planet.
The obvious final conclusion is that we have to step up the appropriate studies both on land and in the oceans.
Illustrations provided by the author.
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