CONDUCTIVITY:
The Air, The Water, and The Land
Clifford E Carnicom
April 15, 2005

A  rainfall laboratory test recently received from a rural location in the midwestern United States has refocused attention on the electrolytic, ionic and conductive properties of environmental samples in connection with the aerosol operations.  These "interesting characteristics" of solids in our atmosphere have a more direct and down to earth impact as their nature is better understood.  This is nothing less than the changing of the air, the water and the soil of this planet.  All life is eventually to be affected as it continues.

A laboratory report has been received that documents unusually high levels of calcium and potassium within a rain sample.1   Previous work has demonstrated unexpected levels of barium and magnesium.   The continuous presence of easily ionizable salts at higher concentrations within atmospheric samples has many ramifications upon the environment.  A brief introduction to the severe health impact of this category of particulates has also been made on this site. Current work is now dedicated to the impact that these materials are having upon not only upon the atmosphere, but upon the water and soil as well.  All inhabitants of this planet will eventually confront, voluntarily or not, the consequences of the actions that are being allowed to degrade the viability and habitability of our home.

The burden of testing for the problems underway does not fall upon any private citizen, as the resources are not available to support it.  Nevertheless, testing and analysis does continue in whatever way is  possible.  Accountability must eventually fall to those public servants and agencies entrusted with protection of the general welfare and environment.  It should not be assumed that there is infinite time available to ponder the strategies of improvement and the solutions for remedy.  We shall all bear the final price for any condonement of what has been allowed to pass.

Now, for the more immediate particulars:

A series of conductivity tests have been conducted with recent heavy snowfall samples collected in New Mexico and Arizona. Conductivity is a means to measure the ionic concentration within a solution. These tests have been performed with the use of a calibrated conductivity meter in conjunction with calibrated seawater solutions. A series of electrolysis tests have also been completed with these same samples and calibrated solutions.

These tests demonstrate conclusively the presence of reactive metal hydroxides (salts) in concentrations sufficient to induce visible electrolysis in all recent snowfall samples encountered2.  

Precipitates result if reactive electrodes are used; air filtration tests have produced these same results in even more dramatic fashion from the solids that have been collected.  Highly significant electrolytic reactions occur in the case when the solid materials from the atmosphere are concentrated and then placed into solution.  Rainfall is expected to be one of the purest forms of water available, especially in the rural and high mountain sites that have been visited.  Rainfall from such "clean" environments is not expected to support electrolysis is any significant fashion3, and conductivity is expected to be on the order of 4-10uS4. Current conductivity readings are in the range of approximately 15 to 25uS. These values may not appear to be extraordinarily large, however any increase in salt content, especially with the use of remote samples, will need to be considered with respect to the cumulative effect upon the land.  These results do indicate an increase in conductivity on the order of 2-3 times, and the effects of increased salinity on plant life will merit further discussion.

Beyond the indicated increase in conductivity levels of sampled precipitation, there are two additional important results from the current study. The first is the ability to make an analytic estimate of the concentration of ionic salts within the regional atmosphere.  The results do appear to be potentially significant from an air quality perspective and with respect to the enforcement (or lack thereof) of existing standards.   The second is the introduction of the principle of "ohmic heating", which in this case allows for increased conductivity of the atmosphere as a result of an introduced current.

First, with respect to estimated concentrations of ionic salt forms in the atmosphere, the principle is as follows.  The methods demonstrate that our focus is upon reactive metal hydroxide forms (barium hydroxide, for example).  Conductivity is proportional to ionic concentration.  Although a conductivity meter is especially useful over a wide range of concentrations, special care is required when dealing with the weak saline forms of precipitation as they now exist.  It has been found that current flow as measured by a sensitive ammeter (uamps) appears to be useful in assessing the conductivity of the weak saline solution.  The results have been confirmed and duplicated with the use of the calibrated conductivity meter. The use of on ohm meter to measure resistance is found from both experience and from the literature to not be reliable without much caution, due to complications of heating and/or polarization.  Weak saline solutions appear to have their own interesting characteristics with respect to introduced currents, and this topic will come to the forefront when ohmic heating is discussed.

A series of weak sea saltwater solutions have been carefully prepared for use in calibrating both the conductivity meter and the ammeter.  These solutions are in strengths of 0.56%, 1.51% and 3.01% respectively.  Many tests have also been completed with refined water samples as well as seawater equivalents.  Conductivity is proportional to concentration levels, especially as it has been bracketed with a variety of solutions in the range of expected measurements.  Measurements currently estimate the saline concentration of the precipitation samples at approximately 0.041%.  Salt concentrations in any amount are extremely influential to conductivity.  

Assuming an equivalency in density of the precipitation salts to sea salts, this results in an expected concentration level of approximately 15 milligrams per liter.  For comparison purposes, rainwater in Poker Flats, Alaska is reported as approximately 1mg/liter for all dissolved ions; the contribution from reactive metal compounds is a small fraction of that total.  Highly polluted rain over Los Angeles CA is reported at approximately 4mg/liter, with approximately 1mg/liter composed of the reactive metals.5  Simulated rainfall samples report concentration levels of approximately 4 and 21 mg/liter respectively, presumed to reflect reasonably clean and polluted samples respectively6.  In all cases cited, the contribution from reactive metal ions is quite small relative to the whole, and sulfate, nitrate and chloride ions are the largest contributors to the pollutants.    Testing here indicates the composition of the precipitate pollutants may be biased toward the reactive metal ion concentrations.

The next objective is to translate the measured and estimated concentration level to an equivalent density, or particulate count, within the atmosphere.  This method is based upon saturation levels for moisture within the atmosphere.  Air at a given temperature can only hold so much water.

From the Smithsonian Meteorological Tables, the satuation density is given as:7

saturation density = 216.68 * (ew / (Cv * T) )

where ew is the saturation vapor pressure in millibars, T is temperature in Kelvin, and Cv is the compressibility factor.  Cv is 1.0000 to the level of precision required.

From Saucier8, the saturation vapor pressure in millibars with respect to water is estimated as:

 es = 6.11 * 10(a*t)/(t+b)

where a = 7.5
b = 237.3

and t is degrees Centigrade.

Therefore, the saturation density can be stated as:

density (gms /m3) = [ 216.68 * es / K

and the density in gms / m3 of salt particulate in the air can be estimated as:

gms / m3 = Conductivity Estimate of Solids (in gms per liter) * (RH% / 100) * Saturation Density * 1E-3

and in ugms:

ugms = gms / m3 * 1E6

and as an example, if the solid density is .015 gms / liter and the temperature is 15 deg centigrade and humidity is 50%, the estimate of particulate concentration from the salts is 96ugms / m3.  This concentration will vary directly with altitude (temperature) and humidity levels.

The estimates show that at ground levels and temperatures it is quite possible that the EPA air quality standards for particulate matter are no longer being met.  This determination will also depend on the size of the particles in question, as EPA standards vary according to size (PM2.5 and PM10 respectively).  All analyses indicate that the size of the aerosols under examination are sub-micron, and if so, this makes the problem more acute.  Air quality standards for comparison to various scenarios are available9 to examine the relationship that has been developed. Unfortunately, the failures of United States government agencies now require the independent audit of EPA data and presentation.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is especially culpable in this regard, and the enforcement of existing standards is a serious topic of controversy.

Finally, let us introduce the subject of ohmic heating.  The behavior of electric currents within weak saline solutions has many points of interest.  During the testing for this report, it was observed that the conductivity of weak saline solutions noticeably increased over time when these solutions were subjected to a weak electric current. It appears that the most likely source of this conductivity is a phenomenon known as ohmic heating.  In plasma physics, ohmic heating is the energy imparted to charged particles as they respond to an electric field and make collisions with other particles.  A classic definition would be the heating that results from the flow of current through a medium with electrical resistance.  Please recall the difficulty of using an ohmmeter to measure conductivity in a solution; this difficulty was realized in the trials of this report.

Metals are known to increase their resistance with the introduction of an electric current.  As the metal becomes hotter, resistance increases and conductivity decreases.  Salt water and plasmas are quite interesting in that the opposite effect occurs.  The conductivity of salt water increases when temperature increases.  The same effect occurs within a plasma; an increase in temperature will result in a decrease of the resistance.10, i.e, the conductivity increases.  Introduction of an electric current into the plasma, or salt water for that matter, will increase the temperature and therefore the conductivity will also increase.  This is in opposition to our normal experience with metals and conductors.

In the past, conductivity studies have focused on the ability of the reactive metals to lose ions through the photoionization process.  This remains a highly significant aspect of the aerosol research.

The importance of this study is that a second factor has now been introduced into the conductivity equation, and that is the introduction of electric currrent itself into the plasma state. This research, through direct observation and analysis,  has inadvertently turned attention once again to the HAARP facility, where ohmic heating is stated within the Eastlund patent to be a direct contributor to atmospheric conductivity increase.  All evidence indicates that this plasma is saline based, which further propagates the hypothesis of increased conductivity in the atmosphere with the introduction of electric current, in addition to that provided by photoionization.

A future presentation will examine the changes in the conductivity of our soil, in addition to that of our air and water.

1. CE Carnicom, Calcium and Potassium, http://www.carnicom.com, March 2005.
2. Andrew Hunt, A-Z Chemistry, (McGraw Hill, 2003), 125.
3. Dr. Rana Munns, The Impact of Salinity Stress, http://www.plantstress.com/Articles/salinity_i/salinity_i.htm.
4. Steven Lower, Ion Bunk, http://www.chem1.com/CQ/ionbunk.html.
5. Hobbs, Peter, Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p137.
6. Water Standards, Simulated Rainwater, http://www.hps.net/simrain.html
7. Smithsonian Meteorological Tables, Table 108, (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1984), 381.
8. Walter J. Saucier, Principles of Meterological Analysis, (Dover, 1989), 9.
9. National Ambient Air Quality Standards, http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/compliance/monitoring/air/monops/naaqs.html
10. S. Eliezer and Y. Eliezer, The Fourth State of Matter, An Introduction to Plasma Science, (Institute of Physics Publishing 2001), 124-125.

 

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