Until recently, most climate scientists believed that the greenhouse effect was the main cause of global warming. My mathematical researches indicates, however, that these scientists were not entirely correct. The main cause of global warming is not related to the amount of polluting gases we release into the environment. But with the huge amount of thermal energy that we release daily into the atmosphere and the seas.
The transformation of matter (oil, coal, uranium, etc.) into energy is the main factor responsible for global warming, regardless of the gaseous pollution that these transformations may cause. My calculations indicate that it is not just the greenhouse effect that is overheating the planet. It is the "thermal pollution", generated by man himself and discarded in the environment, which is warming the planet. Automobiles, airplanes, ships, industries, thermoelectric power plants, commercial buildings and homes, discard thousands of megawatts of thermal energy into the atmosphere and the seas every day.
Some scientists claim that the layer of pollution parked in the upper atmosphere is reflecting back to the environment the infrared waves radiated by the Earth's surface (see Figure 1), causing the greenhouse effect. It occurs that this same layer of polluting gases also reflects the infrared waves coming from the Sun (see Figure 2), sending them back into space and decreasing the summation of energy reaching the surface of the Earth. In fact, it is the atmospheric pollution that is counterbalancing the huge amount of thermal energy we are releasing into the environment. At the moment, it is the CO2
that is limiting global warming at current levels. Analyze the two charts below and understand why.
Notice in figure 4 the different wavelengths radiated by the Sun.
Figure 5 shows, on the green line, the intensity of the sun's rays before passing through the atmosphere. And, in the brown line, the intensity of the solar rays after crossing the atmosphere and reaching the surface.
The NASA report, printed graphically in Figure 5, shows that carbon dioxide (CO2
) is partially blocking the entry of some frequencies of infrared energy radiated by the Sun. This is happening at wavelengths in around 1375 nm, 1850 nm and 2450 nm. So this shows that Donald Trump was not totally wrong when he made his criticisms of current global warming control techniques. In fact, what is overheating the planet is not the gaseous pollution, but rather the "thermal pollution" that we are discarding in the ambient, while converting matter into energy to move cars, industries, etc.
A more detailed analysis indicates that the CO2
layer may be causing an inverse effect. That is, instead of accentuating the summer, it is accentuating the winter peaks. This may be happening because when the solar rays enter the atmosphere in an inclined way (in winter), the CO2
layer blocks a significant part of the infrared energy coming from the Sun. As a result, the volume of energy that reaches the surface of polluted cities decreases, and temperatures fall below the normal range.
Now watch how much heat a car launches in the atmosphere, through the exhaust pipe, radiator and other parts of the engine. Know that the useful kinetic energy, which moves the car, also fully converts into heat during its displacement. As the car makes its way through the air, it transfers its kinetic energy to the air molecules, producing agitation and friction. These agitations and frictions, of the air molecules displaced by the car, quickly turn into ambient heat. Jet aircraft engines also pour millions of calories into the atmosphere every day. Industry chimneys, power plants, cargo ships, etc., not release only smoke and pollutants, but also release calories into the atmosphere and in large quantities.
The energy that the industry uses, in its machines, can assume different forms during its use (electric, mechanical, magnetic, kinetic, etc.), but its last form is always heat. Unfortunately, all the energy that mankind uses turns into heat and accumulates in the environment raising the temperature of the planet.
According to the official data of the International Energy Agency - IEA
, and Global Energy Statistical - Yearbook 2016
, in 2015 the world generated and "consumed" 13,889 Mtoe from different sources (coal, firewood, biomass, oil, uranium, hydraulics, etc.). Note: "Mtoe" is an energy unit that means million tonnes of oil equivalent
. Keep in mind that this energy, once used, has to accumulate somewhere, and this place is the atmosphere and the oceans. According to the energy conservation law
, the energy can not be destroyed nor does it disappear like magic.
If we take as an example the amount of energy "generated" by humanity in the year 2015, we can calculate its impact on the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. To do this calculation and find out how much the atmospheric temperature increased in 2015, let's use the basic calorimetric equation: Q = mcΔT
amount of heat in calories;
mass of the atmosphere in grams;
specific heat of the atmosphere = 0.24 cal/g.°C;
temperature difference in degrees Celsius.
As the energy unit provided by the IEA is in Mtoe, we will first convert the unit of energy to calories. We know that 1 Mtoe equals 1 x 1016
calories, so Q
= 13,889 x 1 x 1016
= 13.889 x 1019 calories
According to American Meteorological Society
data, the total mass of the Earth's atmosphere is equal to 5.148 x 1018
kg. To use this data, in the calorimetry equation, let's convert it into grams: m
= 5.148 x 1018
= 5.148 x 1021 g
Substituting the values of Q
, in the equation, we have:
Therefore, in the year 2015, we released 13,889 Mtoe of thermal energy in the environment, causing an increase of 0.11°C in the average temperature of the atmosphere.
In 1980, we released 7,173 Mtoe in the environment and, by applying the basic calorimetry equation, we found an increase of 0.06°C in the temperature of the atmosphere. In the year 2000, human civilization released 10,026 Mtoe, into the atmosphere, raising its temperature by 0.08°C. If we total the annual increase between 1980 and 2015, we will conclude that the atmosphere has increased by 1.87°C during this period. However, assuming that the atmosphere has transferred approximately 30% of this heat to the soil, the sea and the space, then the atmosphere would have been 1.31°C (1.87°C - 30%) above normal, in 2015.
The problem is that the official measurements taken by NASA
in this period showed an increase of only 0.87°C, not 1.31°C as we have just calculated. This makes it clear that there is another factor that is influencing the energy balance of the Earth, but in the sense of cooling it, thus reducing the heating resulting from the generation of energy by man. Figure 5 shows that CO2
is reducing the inflow of infrared into the atmosphere. Therefore, unlike what was thought, air pollution is not only increasing the greenhouse effect. It is actually reducing the total energy the Earth receives from the Sun by blocking a portion of the infrared waves.
For this reason, the temperature of the atmosphere in 2015 was not 1.31°C higher than in 1980, as shown by the calculation. Clouds, whether from water vapor or from pollutants, act as sources of shadow, helping to cool the surface. Most scientists agree that a cloud of pollutants, scattered by the impact of an asteroid 65 million years ago, kicked off a Glacial Age that extinguished the dinosaurs. This event suggests that excess pollutants in the atmosphere cause cooling, not heating.
We need to consider this study as we plan new strategies to contain global warming. If we reduce polluting gases and increase energy production, we are actually condemning the planet to a catastrophic end. The only solution, mathematically feasible, is to develop a technology capable of recycling the thermal energy already accumulated on the planet. We need to stop the transformation of matter into energy (uranium, oil, coal, etc.). The Sun guarantees us the average temperature of 287 Kelvin, necessary for the maintenance of life. Already the "insignificant" 0.11 Kelvin, which we are adding to the temperature of the planet annually, is the "drop" that is destabilizing the system and causing the glass to begin to overflow.
Due to the side effects that accompany the transformation of sunlight, and matter, into electrical energy, I am developing an equipment that converts the thermal energy of the environment into electricity. With the implementation of this project, a part of ambient heat will be transformed into electrical energy to supply our needs of transportation, industry, commerce, etc. And in the course of its use, it will return to the form of ambient heat keeping the planet's temperature unchanged. Learn more about the Thermoambient Energy Project