Something I read today:
“The stakes for [the elite] are pretty high, but for us they are immeasurable. We don’t have anything to lose. They’ve taken everything from us already. They’ve stripped us of our rights, they’ve stripped us of our dignity, and they strip us our money. Now, they seek to strip us of the last thing we have to fight them: our words. Our speech.”
Isn’t that so true of us smokers? They’ve taken everything from us.
But wait…, those words were said by former Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam, and he wasn’t actually talking about smokers at all.
I keep reading stuff like this, which rings true until I discover that it’s not about smokers. It never is. Nobody speaks up for smokers, not even Raheem Kassam or Geert Wilders.
But I will.
I bought a book last week. It’s called Principles of Planetary Climate by Raymond Pierrehumbert. I was wondering whether the Earth beneath our feet might get a mention as a contributor to the climate above its surface.
I didn’t have to look far to find out. On page 7:
Once a solid crust forms, the flow of heat from the interior of the Earth to the surface is sharply curtailed, because the heat diffuses very slowly through solid rock. In this situation, supply of heat from the interior becomes insignificant in comparison with the energy received from the Sun, and the Earth has settled into a state where the climate is determined by much the same processes that determine today’s climate: a competition between the rate at which energy is received from the Sun and the rate at which energy is lost to space by radiation of infrared light. This is very likely to have been the case 4.4 billion years ago, if not earlier,
So the contribution by the Earth beneath our feet to climate is “insignificant”. And that’s why it’s completely ignored by climate scientists, like this guy.
Scientists have calculated that increased greenhouse gases have resulted in a radiative forcing of 2.43 Wm-2 which means we need that many Watts/m² of change to account for the current warming. Back to geothermal, this means the energy flow from the earth would have had to jump by over 200 times to be the cause of the approximately 0.8°C temperature rise. It is pretty hard to imagine not noticing that!
But I’ve now got a little climate model. It’s a column of rock and iron that extends all the way from the surface of the Earth to its core. And on the surface it’s now got a single layer atmosphere, and a Sun that shines on it. And when I drop 3 kilometres of ice on its surface at latitude 30ºN, the sub-surface rock beneath the ice heats up over 200,000 years from 316 K to 471 K, and melts all the ice (ice melting point 273 K).
The peak upward heat flow from the hot rock is 1.95 W/m², at the end of glaciation, almost as much as the Sun’s radiative forcing. It’s very easy for the energy flow from the earth to jump by over 200 times.
For illustrative purposes I’m using a hotter Earth than the one usually described in textbooks. But all I need now is a precipitation regime that will build glaciers over time, and continue to rain down snow and ice on its surface once all the ice has melted. With luck, I should then be able to create a nice cycle of repeating ice ages and meltings