Abstract

The atmospheric electrical conductivity was recorded during the 1967 global expedition of the research vessel Oceanographer. Seventy-five complete days of fair weather conductivity observations were obtained and compared to earlier observations of the Carnegie Institution and others.

Significant results show that the atmospheric conductivity in the remote South Pacific has remained fairly constant over the past half century but has decreased by at least 20% in the North Atlantic. The secular conductivity decrease in the North Atlantic is attributed to an increase in the fine-particle aerosol pollution suspended in the atmosphere of the Northern Hemisphere. The influence of atmospheric aerosols, primarily in the form of condensation nuclei, on the conductivity is discussed.

The observations of the conductivity in the two hemispheres are discussed with respect to the sources of pollution, the tropospheric lifetime of the suspended aerosols, and the influence of the primary atmospheric circulation.

It is urged that the Carnegie measurements be repeated.

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