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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 971302, 13 pages
Review Article

Electrodynamical Coupling of Earth's Atmosphere and Ionosphere: An Overview

1Department of Physics, University of Lucknow, Lucknow 226007, India
2Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune 411-008, India
3Physics Department, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India

Received 24 March 2011; Revised 31 July 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: Lucilla Alfonsi

Copyright © 2011 A. K. Singh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electrical processes occurring in the atmosphere couple the atmosphere and ionosphere, because both DC and AC effects operate at the speed of light. The electrostatic and electromagnetic field changes in global electric circuit arise from thunderstorm, lightning discharges, and optical emissions in the mesosphere. The precipitation of magnetospheric electrons affects higher latitudes. The radioactive elements emitted during the earthquakes affect electron density and conductivity in the lower atmosphere. In the present paper, we have briefly reviewed our present understanding of how these events play a key role in energy transfer from the lower atmosphere to the ionosphere, which ultimately results in the Earth's atmosphere-ionosphere coupling.