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Contract number
075-15-2019-1892, 075-15-2022-1038
Time span of the project
Invited researcher

As of 01.11.2022

Number of staff members
scientific publications
Objects of intellectual property
General information

Name of the project: Electromagnetic environment of the Earth: formation, variability, impact on the biosphere

Goals and objectives

Project objective: The project is aimed at solving fundamental scientific and educational problems related to study of formation and variability of the Earth's electromagnetic environment and its impact on the biosphere

The practical value of the study

Scientific results:

  • Our researchers were the first to theoretically predict and experimentally confirm the statistically significant dependence between the electrical parameters of the atmosphere and the crucial atmospheric mode, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

The atmosphere of the Earth, apart from the main parameters, such as temperature, pressure, humidity and wind speed, is characterized by conductivity, i.e. electric current can flow in the atmosphere. The sources of electric current are electrically active clouds. The unique feature of electrical measurements is the presence of so called unitary variation of the near-Earth electric field and the ionospheric potential. Daily variations of the latter as a function of Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) are the same in terms of shape and does not depend on the location of measurement.

A modeling of the state of the atmosphere and the ionospheric potential has demonstrated that strong El Niño and La Niña events influence the global distribution of electrically active clouds, which leads to a change in the shape of daily (unitary) variations of the parameters of the global electric chain and the ionospheric potential.

A first experimental confirmation of the relation of the global electric chain and the ENSO climate mode has been obtained on the basis of an analysis of data of multi-year observations of atmospheric electric fields at he Arctic station «Vostok» from 2006 to 2016. The patterns of ENSO forecasted by the model were found in experimental data with statistical significance.

  • The Laboratory has conducted a research of the influence an electromagnetic field with Schumann resonances frequencies (7.8, 14.3 and 20.8 Hz) on the processes of photosynthesis in plants (on the example of rye and pea sprouts). It has been determined that the action of a magnetic field in a wide range of intensities leads to an increase in the speed of activation of the electron transport chain and the formation of non-photochemical chlorophyll luminescence quenching. The analysis indicates that the potential «target» for the action of the field is proton transport through across the thylakoid membrane in chloroplasts of plants.

On the example of rye plants (Triticum aestivum L.) we have studied the influence of a field with a frequency of 14,3 Hz on signaling processes in plants and their response to the action of other environmental factors. It has been demonstrated that a magnetic field strengthens light-induced electrical reactions in rye as well as contributes to a longer preservation of the activity of physiological indicators, including photosynthesis, in the conditions of drought. In general, we have demonstrated that a low-frequency magnetic field has a more pronounced effect on plants not by itself («at rest»), but in case additional stress factors are applied, which, perhaps, is caused by the impact on signaling systems.

  • In collaboration with the University of Reading (United Kingdom) we have conducted a campaign to measure the height profiles of the atmosphere using meteorological probes. We have refined a technique of a joint experiment in simultaneously launching meteorological probes in various locations on the Earth with additional detectors for the measurement of the electric parameters. We have conducted four collaborative simultaneous launches of meteorological probes with ionization detectors. As a result of the experimental campaign, we collected data that is in good agreement (with a discrepancy not exceeding 10 per cent) with the Usoskin-Kovaltsov model at heights of up to 17 kilometers. In higher layers of the atmosphere the discrepancy becomes more significant and can reach 50 per cent.
  • We have developed the technological appearance of regional base station hubs for the monitoring of the electromagnetic environment in the Upper Volga region. Two stations for the monitoring of the electric field of the atmosphere have been introduced into continuous operation. One station is located in the conditions of a large city (on the roof of the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences), the second station was placed in a rural area («Bezvodnoye» testing site). The data acquisition system meets the requirements for inclusion into the international database of the quasi-static electric field GLOCAEM (https://glocaem.wordpress.com/).
Education and career development:
  • One Doctor of Sciences dissertations, 4 Candidate of Sciences dissertations, two master’s degree theses and two final qualifying works have been prepared and defended.
  • Four conferences on the topic of the project have been organized and staged.
  • Two education programs for master’s degree students have been developed
  • Four employees of the Laboratory have completed internships at Tel Aviv University (Israel).

Research group of the University of Reading (United Kingdom) under the supervision of Professor Giles Harrison and Doctor Keri Nicoll: joint experimental campaign to measure the height profile of the electrical parameters of the atmosphere using meteorological probes. 

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n.n. slyunyaev, n.v. ilin, e.a. mareev, c.g. price
A new link between El Niño—Southern Oscillation and atmospheric electricity // Environ. Res. Lett., 2021, 16 044025
n.n. slyunyaev, n.v. ilin, e.a. mareev, c.g. price
The global electric circuit land–ocean response to the El Niño—Southern Oscillation // Atmospheric Research, 2021, DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2021.105626
slyunyaev, n.n., frank-kamenetsky, a.v., ilin, n.v., sarafanov, f.g., shatalina, m.v., mareev, e.a., price, c.g.
Electric field measurements in the Antarctic reveal patterns related to the El Niño—Southern Oscillation, Geophysical Research Letters, 2021, 48, e2021GL095389
sukhov, v.; sukhova, e.; sinitsyna, y.; gromova, e.; mshenskaya, n.; ryabkova, a.; ilin, n.; vodeneev, v.; mareev, e.; price, c.
Influence of Magnetic Field with Schumann Resonance Frequencies on Photosynthetic Light Reactions in Wheat and Pea. Cells 2021, 10, 149.
sukhova, e.; gromova, e.; yudina, l.; kior, a.; vetrova, y.; ilin, n.; mareev, e.; vodeneev, v.; sukhov, v.
Change in H+ Transport across Thylakoid Membrane as Potential Mechanism of 14.3 Hz Magnetic Field Impact on Photosynthetic Light Reactions in Seedlings of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plants, 2021, 10, 2207.
grinberg, m., mudrilov m., kozlova e., sukhov v., sarafanov f., evtushenko a., ilin, n., vodeneev v., price c., mareev e.
Effect of extremely low-frequency magnetic fields on light-induced electric reactions in wheat, Plant Signaling & Behavior, 2022, 17:1
mshenskaya, n.; sinitsyna, y.; kalyasova, e.; valeria, k.; zhirova, a.; karpeeva, i.; ilin, n.
Influence of Schumann Range Electromagnetic Fields on Components of Plant Redox Metabolism in Wheat and Peas. Plants, 2022, 11, 1955.
evtushenko a., ilin n., svechnikova e.
Parameterization and global distribution of sprites based on the WWLLN data, Atmospheric Research, 2022, 276, 106272
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