atmospheric ionization

atmospheric ionization

[¦at·mə¦sfir·ik ‚ī·ə·nə′zā·shən]
(geophysics)
The process by which neutral atmospheric molecules or atoms are rendered electrically charged chiefly by collisions with high-energy particles.
References in periodicals archive ?
Such supernovae may even have played a role in human evolution, as atmospheric ionization caused by the explosions would have caused a big increase in cloud-to-ground lightning, which, in turn, would've destroyed habitats of larger mammals.
Cosmic rays form the main source of the atmospheric ionization in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, contributing significantly also to the ionization of higher atmospheric layers.

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