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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.


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. 



CORRECTION: I apologise for my post on this topic last week. It contained errors.

The table compares environmental warming by a coal station, with a solar panel and a wind turbine, which have equal capacity to convert and transfer electrical energy. 

All input energy ends up in the environment, whether absorbed, converted or used.

Energy conversion efficiency E is electrical output/total energy input. 

Different energy sources and technologies can be compared with equal electricity output as environmental energy input, or warming, in the table below.  Relative environmental warming per unit of electricity produced is the reciprocal of conversion efficiency 1/E. It is ‘inefficiency’ of conversion, or input for output.


After subtracting 10% for reflection due to albedo or whiteness of a panel, typically 15-30% of incident solar energy is converted (0.15-0.30). 

* Environment warming would be reduced when the solar panel is installed on a roof above a cooled interior. 


Assume efficiency of rotary multi-blade turbine is 30% or 0.30.


Assume station thermal efficiency = 40% or 0.40

Coal would have a 25% lower environment warming effect (3.33-2.50)/3.33 X 100. A renewable energy technology could warm the environment more than coal. A technology of lower thermal efficiency is more thermally polluting. It is one of several important factors such as cost to be considered before installing it to replace a more efficient technology. 

Renewal of energy input is ultimately from the Sun, for solar and wind, or by combusting coal. The heat flows from hot to cold, cooling down to ambient temperature, ending up as heat warming the environment as entropy: heat that cannot be used. For technologies having low efficiency, the amount of ambient warming is significant. This thermal pollution could be sufficient to disadvantage individuals of many species, locally and globally.

No amount of warming has been included from an Enhanced Greenhouse Effect, due to CO2 and CH4. I am not convinced that the postulated mechanism exists and I would need a method I can use to calculate any effect.

It is claimed burning fossil fuels to produce electricity or heat is responsible for roughly half of global warming (Google, April 13, 2014). Installing solar panels and erecting wind turbines to replace coal may not reduce warming and could increase it.

Solar panels can cool buildings
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