Earthly Birkeland Currents and the Geomagnetic field.

D. Scott recently published a paper on the modelling of Birkeland currents in Progress in Physics, first proposed by S Lundquist in 1950, in which it is shown that a Birkeland current can be modelled by a Bessel function that results in a central rotating core surrounded by alternate counter-rotating and co-rotating zones of weakening strength outwards as a function of the square root of distance. Naturally occurring examples of this plasma structure are given and a video presentation on Youtube may also be watched, part 1 and part 2. The model is essentially a long filed aligned current with rotating currents diminishing outwards.

However in the case of the Earth where two Birkeland currents enter at the Earth’s poles, we might note similarities to the modelling.

Scott Fig 3


And if we look at one graphical example showing the Earth’s trade winds etc

Earth Global Circulation en svg

And assuming that the winds in the atmosphere follow Gerald Pollack’s ideas that these are caused by protons, then we have rotating toruses of electric charge circling the Earth, both co-rotating and counter rotating. Imagine the Hadley cells as electric currents, add the Van Allen Belts which are also co-rotating electrically charged particles and you would think this might be a more factual explanation of the geomagnetic field than the invisible internal dynamo theory, ya reckon?

The difficulty is assuming the belief of cause and effect – because that’s actually creationism, the occurrence of the first primary cause. Instead I am suggesting that there never was a pre-existing geomagnetic field that then accumulated the solar wind to form the Van Allen Belts, but that its the dual North-South Birkeland currents entering the Earth’s polar regions that form the geomagnetic field. 

And then this might also be a paradigm too far…….

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
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6 Responses to Earthly Birkeland Currents and the Geomagnetic field.

  1. malagabay says:

    I clinked on the links to the two EU movies.

    However, I stopped watching the first movie at the point [early on] where the speaker asserts [without explanation] that magnetic field lines don’t exist because I would like an mechanical explanation of WTF is going on with magnetic field lines and magnetism.

    The second movie also asserts that magnetic field lines don’t exist and says they are like contour lines on a map – they are useful concepts but contour lines only exist on maps.

    OK – No problem BUT what the contour lines represent does actually exist and I have walked along paths that deliberately follow these non-existent contour lines because they follow a path of least resistance …

    Therefore, I am still left waiting for a mechanical explanation of WTF is going on with magnetic field lines and magnetism.

    My basic criticisms aren’t with the EU Science [as far as it goes] but with the annoying habit of the EU Evangelists to skip over embarrassing gaps in their knowledge.

    From what I have seen:

    EU Evangelists have no underlying mechanics for electricity.
    EU Evangelists have no underlying mechanics for magnetism.
    EU Evangelists like to forget about gravity because it’s “weak” [and embarrassing].
    EU Evangelists like to forget all about [embarrassing] “neutral objects”.

    The very interesting bit of EU Science coming out of the second movie was Marklund Convection where a temperature gradient within the plasma causes chemical separation based on different ionization potentials.

    But when I look at the details it seems the EU Evangelists like to play games.

    For example:

    On this page:

    They have a diagram of an Electric Sun:

    The diagram states heavy elements are concentrated at the centre of a star forming Z-pinch so it precludes a thermonuclear core.

    The problem with that statement [and the Electric Sun] is that Marklund Convection [based upon ionization potentials] will place Francium and Cesium in the core.

    In other words: the Electric Sun actually looks like it’s a Nuclear Sun.

    I could go on….

    The EU Evangelists have done a great job of promoting electricity and magnetism.
    The EU Evangelists have done a great job communicating that gravity isn’t everything.

    But its time to focus on the science and put the EU Evangelists out to pasture before the EU Movement is transformed into an EU Cult.


    • Magnetic field lines, like topographic contour lines, have no physical existence. The breaking of magnetic field lines however, is observed at the surface of the sun, or inferred from the behaviour of ‘magnetic flux tubes’ between the Sun and Earth. However these have been misidentified apart from also being an ignorance of what contour lines represent. Those flux tubes seem to be field-aligned electric currents or Birkeland currents and what we see breaking or stretching in these flux tubes seem to be related to whether the plasma is in dark-current mode, or glow mode. So it’s the glow mode transition we see that is travelling along the ‘field lines’ and giving the impression its breaking. The flux tube is still there but it is not appearing in the instrumentation because its in dark-current mode. It’s much like a fluorescent tube showing a tube of light moving from one end to the other in the tube, the tube being effectively comprised of plasma in dark current mode which we don’t see, and the higher energy glow mode which we do see. But wildly flapping magnetic field lines are nonsensical.

      But Scott is correct – magnetic field lines do not exist and represent reification of imaginals into physical objects; Jedi mind tricks comes to mind.


  2. malagabay says:

    Thanks for the explanation
    The flux tube is still there but it is not appearing in the instrumentation because its in dark-current mode
    sounds like you need a lot of faith in the EU Evangelists.


    • No, not really – electricity in our everyday experience is in dark-current mode, such as electrons wafting upwards from the Earth to the ionosphere, for example. However increase the potential and it becomes visible, in this case the jump is from dark-mode to arc-mode, or lightning.

      However magnetic reconnection is a nonsense. Magnetic fields are continuums and always closed circuits – it’s the idea that a line of force from a magnetic north-pole that then simply hangs in space in the absence of a south-pole that is the nonsense. A north-magnetic pole without a south-magnetic pole will not generate a force field.


  3. Bob Weber says:

    The question of whether the Earth’s geomagnetic field is controlled internally vs externally is easily answered when looking at the right data. It may be the source too, although Dr. Svalgaard says it’s caused by electrical currents underground (telluric). I’m open to a combination of these.

    1) near-Earth solar wind interaction:

    The ACE satellite data gives us Bx, By, Bz, and Bt every five minutes, the IMF.

    The GOES satellites give us Hp, Hn, He, and Ht every five minutes, the GMF.

    Whenever ACE records a negative Bz event, Ht diminishes. EVERY time. High IMF = low GMF.

    2) historical change in GMF inversely matches the change in solar accumulation in the 1900s.

    Solar accumulation can be computed with any solar indice, as it is the integral of whatever flux.

    I’ll use sunspot numbers as a proxy for the IMF to go back in time before the IMF was measured.

    Using sunspot numbers, one can compute an accumulation of SSNs for the 1900s, and plot that against the recorded change in GMF over the same time period. They are very well anti-correlated. The image below indicates recent a ‘Rapid GMF Decrease’, which happened over recent very active solar cycles post-1980.

    I predict as solar activity cycles diminish in strength over the next few cycles, the GMF will rebound.


    • One needs to know what science ‘knew’ at the time the geomagnetic field was explained over 100 years ago.

      We did NOT know the existence of the Van Allen Belts, solar wind, and plasma, but as the earth had a magnetic field, the only place it could have been generated was internally.

      If we wish to generate a magnetic field today, we simply get a coil of wire, usually copper, and attach it to a DC electrical source. Voila – a dipole is produced and called also a solenoid.

      Importantly we do not know of any other way of physically forming a magnetic dipole apart from using a coil of electric conductor. The rest are ‘thought experiments’ or imaginals, and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

      If you remember the 2014 conference, Michael Clarage showed the plasma toroids or donuts of the Van Allen Belts co-rotating with the Earth. Those co-rotating Van Allen belts are no different to the coils of wire we would deploy to form a magnetic dipole in the laboratory.

      The problem is that we assumed that the geomagnetic field is produced internally and THEN explained the Van Allen Belts as occurring afterwards when the solar wind encountered the pre-existing geomagnetic field.

      I instead suspect the geomagnetic field is caused by the Birkeland currents entering the Earth at the polar regions and there never was an instant when there were no Van Allen Belts but was a geomagnetic field.

      It’s the old uniformitarian paradigm in operation – no external causation is allowed in explaining earth phenomena – it’s all supposed to be internal or endogenous, hence the preference to telluric currents to form the geomagnetic field.

      It’s the way we think about it – and its derivation from creationist logic – a series of events starting from nothing, then one after the other things progress into more complex arrangements.

      The alternative is that it always existed and that there never was a sequence of events in which geomagnetic field pre-existed which then captured solar particles.

      For the moment this perspective might be an intellectual leap too far, however.


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