The air-earth current density in the stratosphere, the columnar resistance derived from the measurements of conductivity, and the ionospheric potential were investigated. The data were obtained by radiosonde ascents during the period of 1957–1967.
It was found that the local horizontal visibility at the surface is related to the air-earth current density in the stratosphere, and it is expected that the air-earth current density has a seasonal variation. Statistical results show that indeed the air-earth current has a pronounced seasonal variation, high in winter and low in summer. The columnar resistance has also a seasonal variation, reverse to the variation of the air-earth current.
The percentage time variation of the air-earth current (1/i) (di/dt) was found to be twice as much as the percentage time variation of the columnar resistance (1/R) (dR/dt) at the Tateno Observatory.
The ionospheric potential, deduced from the measurements of the potential gradient by radiosonde ascents, shows no clear seasonal variation at Syowa-Base (Antarctica). Following Ohm's law, however, the above-mentioned results suggest that the seasonal variation of the ionospheric potential would exist on land.