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USP Academic co-authors Nature: Scientific Reports

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USP’s Professor Sushil Kumar co-authored a collaborative paper in Nature: Scientific Reports.

An academic at The University of the South Pacific (USP) is one of the co-authors of the collaborative paper in Nature: Scientific Reports.

The publication is an Assessment of Unusual Gigantic Jets observed during the Monsoon season: First observations from Indian Subcontinent.

Professor Sushil Kumar of the School of Engineering and Physics (SEP) at USP’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE), contributed towards the analysis and interpretation of the observations. All the authors contributed to the discussion of the results and the preparation of the manuscript.

According to the publication, gigantic jets (GJs) are electric discharges from thunderstorm cloud tops to the bottom of ionosphere at 90 km altitude and electrically connect the troposphere and lower ionosphere. Since their first report in 2002, sporadic observations have been reported from ground and space based observations mainly over the ocean. GJs are not well understood because of the scarcity of observations and the complexities of their nature.

In this publication, the authors report first observations of GJs in the Indian subcontinent over the Indo-Gangetic plains during the monsoon season. Two storms each produced two jets with characteristics not documented so far.

Modeling of these gigantic jets suggests that GJs may bend when initiated at the edge of clouds with misaligned vertical charge distribution which has been one of the main highlights of this research along with observations of their electrical signatures globally at other two stations very far from the station where GJs were observed.  

The authors acknowledged the Director of the Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) for support and encouragement to carry out the collaborative project with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU); National Space Institute (NSI);  the European Science Foundation (ESF) TEA-IS Networking Project for supporting the analysis of the data during an exchange visit; and the Serge Soula of Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France, for assisting with the estimate of cloud top altitudes from Meteosat images.

Prof Kumar visited DTU, NSI, during January 2016 under ESF-TEA-IS programme and carried out collaborative work and published in the Journal of Geophyical Research-Space 2017 as lead author which is ranked as Q1 by SJR ranking and A* by USP ranking details of which are:  J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 122,8720–8732, doi:10.1002/2017JA024023.

Sounding data from was used to describe meteorological condition and cloud parameter data used was from MATSAT-1 (, credited to describe cloud top temperature evolution.

The paper was published online on 27 November, 2017, Scientific Reports| 7: 16436 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-16696-5.

This news item was published on 8 Dec 2017 12:39:15 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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