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Thread: Earths surface temperature and other factors

  1. #1 Earths surface temperature and other factors 
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    Earths surface temperature is something which comes up during climate change debate but I would like to focus on something else.

    We know that below the earths surface lies the mantle core and we know it is very hot, now, I have researched a little bit about the impact it is said to have on the overall global surface temperature but here is what I would like to focus on:

    If we look at Iceland for example we can see that they take advantage of the hot temperatures below the surface by way of using geothermal systems.

    My question is this, if this natural? ventilation system is allowing heat from below to escape then would that be causing some kind of cooling activity below the surface? Surely the heat below gets affected, even if it is gradual?

    What I mean is, if things started to cool down too much then what effect could this have on the grand scheme of things?


    Last edited by hannah40; March 10th, 2014 at 11:34 AM. Reason: additional specific info
     

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    Geothermal heating doesn't take heat from the core of even the mantle. Rather it draws radiant heat from the crust (the upper crust, even). The geothermal power we use here in Indy only goes about 50 feet down. The impact from deep mining and drilling operations would be greater than geothermal heating.

    You might want to do some research on how geothermal heating actually works.

    EDIT: I said "geothermal" WAY too many times...


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    Earth's internal energy is only a tiny % of surface energy balance compared to that from the solar gain to and IR emissions from the surface. Yes that energy is being shed and the core is slowly cooling, though much of it is being offset by radioactive decay and to much less degree friction from lunar and solar tidal forces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Earth's internal energy is only a tiny % of surface energy balance compared to that from the solar gain to and IR emissions from the surface. Yes that energy is being shed and the core is slowly cooling, though much of it is being offset by radioactive decay and to much less degree friction from lunar and solar tidal forces.
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then? The cooling is affecting the magnetic forces that shield the earth and it has been said that it has weakened by around 15% in the last 200 years. It has even been said that their could be a flipping of the poles.

    Danish scientists have said that the magnetic shield deterioration is more likely to be linked to global warming than co2.
     

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    The average heat flow from the interior of the Earth reaching the surface is sufficient, over the course of a year, to melt a layer of ice about 1cm thick. The same layer could be melted by a reasonably sunny afternoon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then?
    Well, when the core cools the planet will die. If you're worried about that, you might also like to know that the Sun is dying, the Moon is leaving, and the universe itself is flying apart. Brace yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    The average heat flow from the interior of the Earth reaching the surface is sufficient, over the course of a year, to melt a layer of ice about 1cm thick. The same layer could be melted by a reasonably sunny afternoon.
    So, the earths surface temperature that we hear of being spoken regarding 'climate change' is being measured from atmospheric heat or heat from direct sunlight or heat from below too?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then?
    Well, when the core cools the planet will die. If you're worried about that, you might also like to know that the Sun is dying, the Moon is leaving, and the universe itself is flying apart. Brace yourself.
    I am aware that things will die off but what happens after that? a collapse?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Earths surface temperature is something which comes up during climate change debate but I would like to focus on something else.

    We know that below the earths surface lies the mantle core and we know it is very hot, now, I have researched a little bit about the impact it is said to have on the overall global surface temperature but here is what I would like to focus on:

    If we look at Iceland for example we can see that they take advantage of the hot temperatures below the surface by way of using geothermal systems.

    My question is this, if this natural? ventilation system is allowing heat from below to escape then would that be causing some kind of cooling activity below the surface? Surely the heat below gets affected, even if it is gradual?

    What I mean is, if things started to cool down too much then what effect could this have on the grand scheme of things?
    There is what looks like a nice summary of what lies behind geothermal heat here: Geothermal gradient - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    From the scales involved it does not look as if extraction by man of geothermal heat will affect the planet. But I understand it can be the case that tapped sources of geothermal power lose their effectiveness, as the extraction of energy cools the local area of rock that the heat is being taken from. But as other have pointed out, these are fleabites on the elephant, as far as the whole Earth itself is concerned.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then?
    Well, when the core cools the planet will die. If you're worried about that, you might also like to know that the Sun is dying, the Moon is leaving, and the universe itself is flying apart. Brace yourself.
    I am aware that things will die off but what happens after that? a collapse?
    Well, if you instantly cooled the Earth's core we would lose our magnetic field and, eventually, our atmosphere. It wouldn't be pretty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then?
    Well, when the core cools the planet will die. If you're worried about that, you might also like to know that the Sun is dying, the Moon is leaving, and the universe itself is flying apart. Brace yourself.
    I am aware that things will die off but what happens after that? a collapse?
    Well, if you instantly cooled the Earth's core we would lose our magnetic field and, eventually, our atmosphere. It wouldn't be pretty.
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Given that the core is slowly cooling then it would be a pretty safe bet that earth will only last that long. What will happen then?
    Well, when the core cools the planet will die. If you're worried about that, you might also like to know that the Sun is dying, the Moon is leaving, and the universe itself is flying apart. Brace yourself.

    I am aware that things will die off but what happens after that? a collapse?
    Well, if you instantly cooled the Earth's core we would lose our magnetic field and, eventually, our atmosphere. It wouldn't be pretty.


    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    Steady on. The Earth may be cooling, but infinitesimally slowly. That effect is most definitely not responsible for short-term changes in the intensity of the Earth's magnetic field.

    CO2 is to do with climate change, arising from the greenhouse effect (trapping of solar heat). This is quite distinct from any effects due to the magnetic field.

    Regarding the changes in the magnetic field, there has been some sensationalist coverage of this. I recommend reading the section on "time dependence", in this Wiki article, as an antidote: Earth's magnetic field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Bear in mind also that the entire magnetic field has reversed numerous time in the course of geological history, and life has survived it perfectly easily.
    Last edited by exchemist; March 11th, 2014 at 04:43 AM. Reason: typo
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    "Cracks in the shield" is bordering on the misuse of terminology reminiscent of Theorist. Careful with that.

    I'm not sure what "it" refers to in your last sentence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    "Cracks in the shield" is bordering on the misuse of terminology reminiscent of Theorist. Careful with that.

    I'm not sure what "it" refers to in your last sentence.
    Yeah let's keep cool at this point. Hannah40 tends to lump things together a bit. I even thought she was a troll, but I think my judgment may have been premature so, in a contrite spirit, I'm having another go. I think the concern may be about some of the stuff one reads, about the magnetic field weakening and letting in more energetic particles from solar flares. (Newspapers are a terrible source of hysterical stuff, at times. As Private Eye once put it: "Huge snakes, many of them millions of miles long, will roam freely through the English countryside!!……".etc)
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    "Cracks in the shield" is bordering on the misuse of terminology reminiscent of Theorist. Careful with that.

    I'm not sure what "it" refers to in your last sentence.

    Do we trust NASA ...or not? Cracks in Earth's Magnetic Shield - NASA Science
     

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    If you want to have a discussion about short term Earth's magnetic field changes then please start another thread. It has absolutely NOTHING do with long term cooling of the Earth's core which is the subject of the OP. This is the hard science part of the forum and requires we keep threads somewhat well focused, based on science, and either close to the OP or directly associated in some reasonable tangent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    The 90's called. They want their web-page back!!

    (I realise that that does not address your post, but I couldn't stand by in silence. "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.")
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    "Cracks in the shield" is bordering on the misuse of terminology reminiscent of Theorist. Careful with that.

    I'm not sure what "it" refers to in your last sentence.

    Do we trust NASA ...or not? Cracks in Earth's Magnetic Shield - NASA Science
    Good question, actually. I trust their science, but nowadays I sometimes feel their publicity machine sensationalises things unduly. Of course we know why. As the man says in "The Right Stuff; "Know what makes this bird go up? Funding makes this bird go up."

    But this "crack in the shield" schtick means what exactly? Just that streams of ions from the solar wind sometimes penetrate and strike the upper atmosphere, as they have always done since before the dinosaurs. Is this some sinister new development we should all worry about? No.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    If you want to have a discussion about short term Earth's magnetic field changes then please start another thread. It has absolutely NOTHING do with long term cooling of the Earth's core which is the subject of the OP. This is the hard science part of the forum and requires we keep threads somewhat well focused, based on science, and either close to the OP or directly associated in some reasonable tangent.
    I believe it was relevant for this debate. It is also relevant to climate effect.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    If you want to have a discussion about short term Earth's magnetic field changes then please start another thread. It has absolutely NOTHING do with long term cooling of the Earth's core which is the subject of the OP. This is the hard science part of the forum and requires we keep threads somewhat well focused, based on science, and either close to the OP or directly associated in some reasonable tangent.
    Yes, to be fair I think this may have been an initial misconception on the part of Hannah40, which a number of us hope we have now dispelled. It's not a deliberate hijacking of the thread.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I believe it was relevant for this debate. It is also relevant to climate effect.
    It isn't, though I can see you thinking they might be because you seem to lack basic knowledge about Earth science, nor do you understand the scales of magnitudes of energy, or span of times differences in the associations you are trying to make. Even if humans met all their energy demands from geothermal sources it would not significantly change the surface temperature or the energy content of the planet, nor cause any change to Earth's magnetic fields. The cooling planet is a process that's taking billions of years--not something changed significantly over the span of a few hundred years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I believe it was relevant for this debate. It is also relevant to climate effect.
    It isn't, though I can see you thinking they might be because you seem to lack basic knowledge about Earth science, nor do you understand the scales of magnitudes of energy, or span of times differences in the associations you are trying to make. Even if humans got all their energy demands from geothermal sources it would not significantly change the surface temperature or the energy content of the planet.
    Yes I think the misconception was that somehow cooling of the Earth would lead to solidification of the core and the disappearance of the magnetic field. Which indeed it might, eventually, after a few more billion years (by which time the sun will be a red giant and will swallow the Earth up in any case). Meanwhile, a few geothermal power plants is neither here nor there.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    It is cooling anyway, our magnetic field is declining. Also we have solar wind activity because their are cracks in the shield.

    We have all these different factors to take in to consideration and that is why I ask, if we can put it down to co2 alone?
    The cooling of the core has absolutely no significance on a historical, or millennial scale.
    The decline in the magnetic field has all the appearance of a short term (in geological time scales) fluctuation that may herald a pole reversal. This is a normal and natural part of the way the Earth functions.
    The solar wind has always had the capacity to impact on the magnetosphere. There are no cracks in the shield. What do you think constitutes a crack? The South Atlantic Anomaly? Not valid as a crack. Large solar flares have always been capable of penetrating the magnetosphere - no change there.

    None of these have any relevant impact upon global warming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Geothermal heating doesn't take heat from the core of even the mantle. Rather it draws radiant heat from the crust (the upper crust, even). The geothermal power we use here in Indy only goes about 50 feet down. The impact from deep mining and drilling operations would be greater than geothermal heating.
    You might want to do some research on how geothermal heating actually works.<br>
    <br>
    EDIT: I said "geothermal" WAY too many times...
    Flick, I think this is incorrect. There are different kinds of geothermal heat. Surface heat exchange systems - Ground Source Heat Pumps - use ground heat close to the surface and get called geothermal but are reliant on environmental heat from above warming the ground rather than from below. There are hot rock zones that can have their heat harvested - deeper than 50ft but within the crust, heated by radioactive decay within the rock.

    But the biggest geothermal power plants are over the top of volcanically active areas. The Geysers in California for example, relies on steam produced by heat from a magma mass below; whether than can be considered part of the Earths crust or is an extension of the mantle into the crust is something for geologists, but it goes much deeper than 50ft. What you describe sounds like Ground Source Heat Pump technology rather than geologically produced heat.

    The Geysers - "Gravity and teleseismic studies suggest that a large silicic magma chamber around 14 kilometers in diameters, lies 7 kilometers and deeper beneath the volcanic field. This reservoir is thought to be the heat source for The Geysers geothermal field..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Geothermal heating doesn't take heat from the core of even the mantle. Rather it draws radiant heat from the crust (the upper crust, even). The geothermal power we use here in Indy only goes about 50 feet down. The impact from deep mining and drilling operations would be greater than geothermal heating.
    You might want to do some research on how geothermal heating actually works.<br>
    <br>
    EDIT: I said "geothermal" WAY too many times...
    Flick, I think this is incorrect. There are different kinds of geothermal heat. Surface heat exchange systems - Ground Source Heat Pumps - use ground heat close to the surface and get called geothermal but are reliant on environmental heat from above warming the ground rather than from below. There are hot rock zones that can have their heat harvested - deeper than 50ft but within the crust, heated by radioactive decay within the rock.

    But the biggest geothermal power plants are over the top of volcanically active areas. The Geysers in California for example, relies on steam produced by heat from a magma mass below; whether than can be considered part of the Earths crust or is an extension of the mantle into the crust is something for geologists, but it goes much deeper than 50ft. What you describe sounds like Ground Source Heat Pump technology rather than geologically produced heat.

    The Geysers - "Gravity and teleseismic studies suggest that a large silicic magma chamber around 14 kilometers in diameters, lies 7 kilometers and deeper beneath the volcanic field. This reservoir is thought to be the heat source for The Geysers geothermal field..."
    Must have misread the intent behind the question. Does it change the affect of cooling our planet?
    Last edited by Flick Montana; March 11th, 2014 at 06:33 AM.
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    I believe it was relevant for this debate. It is also relevant to climate effect.
    It's only "relevant" to climate in claims by a few people who are not climatologists. Not so many years ago I knew very little of the science behind climate. I got interested. I even tediously ploughed through the not very easy radiative physics "tutorials" at Science of Doom. It took aaaages to work through the equations and to revive my long-lost memories of calculus.

    Then I made a decision.

    I was sure about the various processes but lacked the physics, the maths as well as the time/patience to work through all the information for myself. So I rely on the science and the scientists linked to the IPCC process for the real deal information. I also rely on people who are competent to a) explain scientific findings and, most importantly for climate science where there is so much rubbish talked in the media and so much deliberate and unconscious deception by a few scientists, b) debunk stuff that should never have seen the light of day.

    Two sites I'd recommend for this.
    1. Open Mind | Science, Politics, Life, the Universe, and Everything
    Grant Foster is a statistician who works on all sorts of stuff but blogs most of the time on climate. He's also a co- author of a couple of terrific papers the first of which arose from analysis he first wrote about on the blog. Global temperature evolution 1979 I'll happily admit that the statistical techniques and language are usually beyond me. And occasionally the discussion in the comments reads (to me) like argle-bargle when all the computer and statistical experts get into arguments about the technicalities. But I can skip the incomprehensible so long as I can understand the results.

    2. Global Warming and Climate Change skepticism examined
    Started out as a simple list of myths and misconceptions about climate. It's now a marvelous resource. If you hear something about climate being affected by "cosmic rays" for example, you just go to the arguments list on the left margin and you'll find Myth 21. When you click on that link you'll find Basic, Intermediate and Advanced versions of the scientific response to the myth.

    The science.
    If you really want to understand why CO2 is so important, you can try Science of Doom and see how you like it. I'd start at Confusion over the Basics | The Science of Doom or CO2 | The Science of Doom Nobody will know if you run screaming from there as though your hair's on fire. It is a bit intimidating.
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    I thought global warming was the act of the earths temperature increasing and climate change was the symptoms of the warming?

    Open mind blog is interesting, I've bookmarked the blog.
     

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    Global warming and climate change have become synonymous. Global warming is the trend of the average temperature of Earth increasing over a period of time. Climate change expands upon the problem a little more. It suggests that the effects of polluting our planet extend beyond a temperature rise. With that rise we may see more intense or frequent storms, floods and droughts, or any other number of strange climatic deviations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I thought global warming was the act of the earths temperature increasing and climate change was the symptoms of the warming?
    Is that a statement or a question? The syntax is that of a statement, but then you put a question mark at the end of it. You do this quite a bit and it is slightly confusing.

    As a statement, it sounds OK to me - and perfectly consistent with what adelady and John G have said.

    But, as a number of us have pointed out, neither the Earth's internal temperature, nor the currently observed changes in the Earth's magnetic field, have any bearing on it.
     

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    I would like to discuss the spike of global temperature that happened around 1998, some graphs show a huge leap of temperature they then use this as a basis for argument that global temperature hasn't increased since then? Yet, we do see a steady trend of increasing global temperature.

    What caused the spike? I know things like volcanoes can have an effect ...
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I would like to discuss the spike of global temperature that happened around 1998 ... what caused the spike?
    An unusually strong El Nino event.

    http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/gu.../eln/rcnt.rxml
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    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I would like to discuss the spike of global temperature that happened around 1998, some graphs show a huge leap of temperature they then use this as a basis for argument that global temperature hasn't increased since then? Yet, we do see a steady trend of increasing global temperature.

    What caused the spike? I know things like volcanoes can have an effect ...
    I see Flick has beaten me to the punch. This article gives a few details: ‘Global warming stopped in 1998′–Only if you flagrantly cherry pick | Grist
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hannah40 View Post
    I would like to discuss the spike of global temperature that happened around 1998 ... what caused the spike?
    An unusually strong El Nino event.

    1997-1998 El Niño: the most recent event
    What caused el nino?
     

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    Hannah I'm closing this thread.

    If you have a question about a different topic..1) look for a recent thread (say less than a month old) on the same topic and carry on there, or 2)start a new thread

    Also consider putting your comments and open questions in the general science subforum--they really aren't rich enough for the hard science subforums.


    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
     

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