Global warming

Global warming

How much electrical charge is released when water vapor condenses.
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Global warming discussion
How much electrical charge is released when water vapor condenses.
replied to: robertshaw
Water vapor plays a key role in lightning production in the atmosphere. From "cloud physics", usually, clouds are the real generators of static charge as found in Earth's atmosphere. But the ability, or capability of clouds to hold massive amounts of electrical energy is directly related to the amount of water vapor present in the local system.

The amount of water vapor directly controls the permittivity of the air. During times of low humidity, static discharge is quick and easy. During times of higher humidity, fewer static discharges occur. However, permittivity and capacitance work hand in hand to produce the megawatt outputs of lightning.

After a cloud, for instance, has started its way to becoming a lightning generator, atmospheric water vapor acts as a substance (or insulator) that decreases the ability of the cloud to discharge its electrical energy. Over a certain amount of time, if the cloud continues to generate and store more static electricity, the barrier that was created by the atmospheric water vapor will ultimately break down from the stored electrical potential energy. This energy will be released to a locally, oppositely charged region in the form of lightning. The strength of each discharge is directly related to the atmospheric permittivity, capacitance, and the source's charge generating ability.

This is called "Cloud Physics".

The electrical Charge appears to be negligable
when water Vapor ( Steam), condenses