How hot is the Earth?

Posted

To the Editor:

Almost everyone in government and academia is worried by global warming and climate change caused by human use of fossil fuels.

Is it really something to worry about? Let’s start from the beginning:

Most scientists agree that at one timethe earth was a molten mass of material orbiting the sun. As millions of years passed radiation caused the molten mass to lose temperature and a crust of solid material formed on the surface.

As the crust increased in depth and the outer edge cooled further it began to shrink it developed wrinkles much like a dried up orange. As the solid part increased in depth and shrunk as it cooled the outer crust layer was compressed as it had to get smaller to follow the inner core.

Stresses built up in the crust and to relieve the stress plates were formed that could slide under and over each other to reduce the surface area. The result was a very rough terrain and what we call mountains were formed. While this was going on the sun was pouring radiant energy onto the half of the earth that it faced it.

About the same time the surface had cooled enough to allow oxygen and hydrogen to combine and form vast amounts of water.

As the mantle cooled the terrain changed the water followed the low spots. Vast rainstorms developed and erosion changed the composition of the mantle and it’s terrain. The sun continued to heap vast quantities of energy on the earth and eventually a balance was archived between the energy received from the sun and the energy being radiated from the earth. The parts of the earth facing the sun were warmer, those at right angle to the sun kept losing energy and resulted in ice forming at the poles.

The balance was not consistent, radiant energy put out by the sun varies with sunspot and flare activity, radiant energy received by the surface of the earth varies with particulate matter and water vapor in the atmosphere caused by volcanic activity, storms and to some extent by human activity.

The temperature gradient to maintain this balance is as follows: center of earth, extremely hot and molten, mantle is solid, crust is solid and cooled by radiation to temperature that allows us to exist.

The air in the troposphere is at moderate temperatures near the surface and gradually cools minus 60 before heating due to the sun’s radiation in the thermo- sphere and then goes to absolute zero in outer space. A very complicated balance exists and recent increases in surface temperatures have been blamed on the release of stored co2 by human activity.

This excess co2 is said to have a green-

house effect that causes solar radiation that would normally be reflected back into space is caught by excess co2 and other pollutants in the air and retained in the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

This doesn’t seem possible and a more likely reason for global warming would be that burning the carbon produces lots of heat and is retained in the atmosphere and this is more likely the cause of hot- ter air. Then an occasional volcano also warms things up.

Nature has a way of keeping the temperature within the small range necessary that makes life possible.

During the daylight hours the earth is absorbing the sun’s energy and temperatures rise. As the earth turns and night comes the earth radiates energy to outer space and temperature drops. Energy from the earth’s core is constantly moving to the surface and being radiated to space in all directions, on the sunny side the radiation from the sun exceeds the earth’s radiation and surface temperatures rise, on the night side that radiation is returned to space and earth cools.

It’s a miraculous balance that is achieved and the earth’s surface is maintained at the range of temperature that allow life to exist.

We have to consider what happened in the millions of years of unknown earth history. The balance was subject to cycles that varied and unpredictable. When the earth was radiating excess energy or the sun’s energy was reduced by sunspots or blocked by clouds and other particulate matter there was cooling resulting in ice ages.

When the sun was overactive we had hot weather with massive vegetation feeding massive creatures. The net cooling of the earth is continuing and the motion between plates is causing the frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions we experience. Fortunately they are minor in comparison to those which formed the earth.

Nature also saw that the sun was pouring excessive energy on the earth and it devised a way to save it by collecting the carbon rich vegetation, compressing- ing it and storing it underground. The total amount of carbon on earth has not changed in billions of years, only it’s distribution and form has changed. Sometimes it’s almost pure like coal and often combined with other elements like oxygen when burned or with hydrogen in plant life. In the atmosphere it’s in the co2 gas that is essential to the photosynthesis in plant life that is the source of our food chain.

Our atmosphere is mainly oxygen and nitrogen with about 0.04 percent co2, even doubling that would not have much effect on the composition of the air we breath. It would only be one part out of 12,000 parts. As co2 levels rise , plant life would be more prolific.

So GOD, or if you prefer “Nature,” is in control and man can do little to change the balance that is maintained by natural forces.

Politicians and some scientists have found that a lot of money can be made from the “climate change” crisis.

To quote one “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

August Hoernschemeyer Owensville

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