Is sea air a good conductor of electricity?

I know air is typically not a very good conductor, and that salt water is typically an excellent conductor, so what about salty air? What would that look like sending electricity through that?

Relevance
• 9 months ago

It would depend on the proportional content (concentration) of the salt.  Generally speaking, there is a correlation between salt (or other particulates, even pollutants) and air conductivity, but the differences are minor (same order of magnitude whether salty or "fresh"; salty air has a conductivity on the range of several tens of percent of that of pure air), which is quite different from water where moderate concentrations of dissolved salts can lower resistance of the solution by several orders of magnitude.

Even then, though, I would not call seawater as an "excellent" conductor (a few tenths of ohms is not what qualifies as resistance low enough to allow "excellent" conductivity, in my view). Sea water would have a conductivity on the order of a few tens of mS per cm (equal to a few thousandths of S per meter; 1ms/cm=0.1S/m) whereas a copper wire would have a conductivity on the order of 10^6 S per meter (or resistivity on the order of 10^-8 ohm), a difference of some 8-10 orders of magnitude.  Copper wire would be an "excellent" conductor (which is one of the reasons we use it for that).  Air has a conductivity on the order of 10^-12 S/m.

• 9 months ago

You asked what it would look like . I'll decide to take that literally :-). Youtube has lots of videos about it, e.g. https://youtu.be/o1LeDTl2GDg

• 9 months ago

The air above the oceans and salty seas is not salty, It is evaporated water and therefore distilled water which has very low conductivity.

• 9 months ago

Wet salt is able to conduct electricity but it is not a good conductor like metal. Moisture air around the sea area contains salty water vapor, therefore those mixture in air can be conducted electricity, however, it has very high resistance like in mega ohm range that could only bypass the static charge that has as high as 2000V or more.

Your answer is NO, Wet salty air acts like a 100 mega ohm resistor connects in parallel everywhere between sky and earth ground.

• 9 months ago

Air can't be 'salty'. I may have a sea smell but that's something different.

Anyway, salt is not a good conductor of electricity. It's only when it's dissolved in water that it forms ions that makes it conduct.

• Zirp
Lv 7
9 months ago

not very

"What would that look like?"

lightning