Weird thought exercise for the day:
Visualizing the narrow band of temperature that allows life to thrive – basically -30F to +130F – how ridiculously improbable it is that most of our planet wobbles around within that precious 160 degree band most of the time (thus, Gaia Theory). …
Of course, you can take the “realist” view that life could not have originated under any other condition to begin with, ie, if it weren’t that way, we wouldn’t be here to comment on & appreciate it.
… But then… What other similar “survival bands” are there that we can’t actually sense — that we’re not aware of at all. Ala fish in water?
So, we think about electrical charge.
Ask the Google, “What is the charge state of the Earth?” – and it sends one to this physics page, which delivers:
What is the net charge of the Earth? [2 answers]
The Earth carries a negative electric charge of roughly 500 thousand Coulombs.
Does that mean the Earth is negatively charged?
You are partly right. The Earth surface is negatively charged. According to the charge-neutrality principle, the electric charge of the whole Earth is ZERO. The reason why the surface of the Earth is negatively charged remains to be clarified. It probably because at the inner core of the Earth, the temperature and pressure is so high that the atoms there are ionized. So the inner part of earth is positively charged. Therefore, its surface is negatively charged.
By definition, a thing with negative electric charge is negatively charged, so the question as asked is answered “yes, tautologically.
Of course, this is referring to the charge of the planet sans atmosphere.
The atmosphere has a nearly equal opposite charge, and the charge separation between the ground and the ionosphere is what enables things like lightning.
The Earth+atmosphere system is more neutral, since any imbalance would tend to cancel over time without something driving it, and other than the solar wind there isn’t much out there to pull positive or negative charges preferentially away from the planet as a whole.
…and then this equation-laden paper – Earth’s Charge and the Charges of the Van Allen Belts, Jacob Biemond (PDF)
…then this image
(from lecture notes here)
Which seems to say that the biosphere works best in a roughly neutral charge environment…
Does our biosphere play any role in modulating charge flow between Earth and Sky?
And if so, is it tied in any way to water vapor and temperature?
And vice versa?
Can we really understand Cimate without understanding the electrical environment of space, … and whatever it is that actually generates the Earth’s magnetic field?