Category Archives: energy consumption
Energy from fossil fuels, nuclear, hydro and renewables, is released eventually into the Earth environment. If I divide it by heat capacities of the oceans and atmosphere, I can calculate the increase in annual temperature that would result.
Dividing World primary energy consumption of 5.57 E20 joules per annum, by heat capacities of Earth’s water 6.13 E21 joules per oC plus Earth’s air 5.13 E21 joules per oC with E21 = 1021 calculates 0.49 E-1 oC per annum = 0.049oC per annum.
This temperature rise is similar to the IPCC target of 1.5oC over 30 years i.e. 0.050 oC per annum.
CONCLUSION: TODAY’S ENERGY CONSUMPTION EQUALS THE RATE OF WARMING TARGETED.
Three assumptions have been made.
1. Primary energy does not disappear after consumption. My preliminary estimate of energy residence time (amount stored energy/energy input rate) indicates heat could last a year on Earth, on average, before radiating away. The annualised anthropomorphic heating effect, calculated above is higher than the IPCC’s estimated warming rate of 0.6oC total over the last 130 years.
2. Earth is also heated from the interior, by bushfires, volcanoes and biochemical reactions. These would cause even more warming.
3. Anthropomorphic warming occurs within diurnal and annual cycles of solar radiation, absorption and re-radiation from Earth. Radiant energy quantities input and output are large but approximately equal, relatively constant, partly self-cancelling and consistent with thermodynamic equilibrium. Enhanced absorption of radiation has been attributed to trace gases, with the amount of warming a priori. By Occam’s Razor, a greenhouse effect is not needed to explain warming when it is anthropogenic.
Human release of heat has been steadily increasing and it may not be a coincidence that the amount is about the same as the global temperature rise targeted by the IPCC. To achieve the target, reduction in primary energy consumption should be considered.
My novel Animal Farm 2 has climate science ideas within a new paradigm.
Earth could be heating by a small amount of global warming. The bigger picture is that the Earth is in thermal equilibrium with the Sun. Heat enters the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans steadily from daily solar radiation and from human consumption of energy. Some of the heat leaves quickly, radiated back into space. Other heat lingers and is gradually dissipated.
Time for heat present to be replaced is its average residence time, which I have calculated as roughly 60 days for heat on Earth. On average, heat would circulate for 60 days before it is radiated into space. Some heat would be present more briefly, while other heat could be present longer. The heat would flow from hot to cold places. The heat could be absorbed by the oceans or land masses until released again and passed into the atmosphere and space.
Hot surfaces, air and water cool by flow of heat to lower temperatures. The heat on Earth flows in winds and ocean currents reducing to ambient temperatures. The energy at this temperature is too cool to be used and is called ‘entropy’. The Earth’s thermal sources of energy such as fossil fuels, fires and geothermal resources are running down as they are converted to entropy.
An increase in residence time of heat on Earth would be measured as higher temperatures, such as global warming. The most likely explanation is entropy gain by increased wastage of heat by humans. Increased radiation entrapment seems unlikely by physical processes.
A new paradigm of climate science is in my fiction novel Animal Farm 2.
When fossil fuels are combusted, all the heat produced, used and wasted, ends up in the oceans, lakes, atmosphere and space. You may have noticed that weather temperatures near cities are warmer, because cities are ‘heat sinks’ of human activity, where waste heat is disposed of into the atmosphere.
The heat wasted into the air by cities, agriculture, livestock, transport and by evaporation from water storages is large. If you live near a thermal power station, where river, lake or ocean water is used for cooling, you may have noticed the water is warmed up and can even cause fog at night. Alternatively, heat could be wasted from a cooling tower.
You may have been at an airport and felt warm ‘jet wash’, exhaust gases from a plane manoeuvring.
There is evidence that human heat pollution is significant. By comparison with solar radiation received by Earth, the amount of thermal pollution is lower when the Sun is high, but at night thermal pollution contributes significantly to the daily heat balance, enough to cause global warming. I calculate that human-generated heat stays on Earth with an average residence time of 140 years.
Substitution of solar, wind and hydro for fossil fuel combustion would not reduce thermal pollution and could increase it, if electrical output efficiency is lower and more heat is wasted and replaced from the Sun.
The other theory, that global warming could be caused by heat entrapment by a tiny amount of carbon dioxide gas, is disputed in the literature, unnecessarily complex and without evidence. To reduce global warming, energy consumption must be reduced.
More information is in my book Animal Farm 2, on Amazon.
Earth’s heat balance is certainly complex, but higher temperatures could come from retention of increased heat from Earth sources, with solar radiation absorption and emission continuing as in the past. Modelling of changes to the world energy balance can account for global warming and the futility of the net zero concept.
Heat energy to warm Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere, is emitted by respiration of living things, by combustion of vegetation and fossil fuels, by capture of renewable energy replenished by the Sun and by geothermal processes. Some heat produced is radiated into space, but my calculations indicate the remainder is sufficient to add to normal solar warming and cooling, causing warming noticeable near city heat sources.
Warming would not in the least be reduced by substituting for fossil fuels with solar, wind or hydro energy supplies. Warming in the environment is caused by spent inefficient energy consumed. Reduction to net zero could require cutting energy consumption and waste by human populations to a low level, until entropy increase is balanced if possible by removal in endothermic reactions, such as photosynthesis, which absorbs heat with light. Deindustrialisation may be necessary. The theory of warming by greenhouse gases is considered in my previous post here Greenhouse Gases Not To Blame.
My satirical book Animal Farm 2 explains paradigm-shifted climate science.