Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Missing the wood for the trees

The way the climate-fanatics are going about linking global warming and climate change to greenhouse gases, I suspect there will be a case of eating crow later on.

I don't have a problem with associating climate and change and global warming with human activities. I have a problem with associating them primarily to greenhouse effect.

The shrill tone of politicians and environmentalists to reduce carbon emissions evokes some kind of suspicion in me ... Would a world powered by solar energy, wind turbines and cold fusion be free of climate change problems ? My natural cynicism about nature thinks otherwise.

Thank God I'm not a scientist, so I'm not gagged and forced to talk only in peer-reviewed journals. I also don't have enough data to back up my claims, so the ideal response to my claims would not be disbelief (disbelief without data to back it up would be irrational and therefore, unscientific !!) but scepticism.

Let me think about some questions aloud:
a) My laptop generates a lot of heat. The fan in the laptop dissipates the heat outside. Question: where does the heat go ?
b) A nuclear reactor converts water to steam to power the turbines. Where does the heat go ? Btw, do you notice there is no carbon emission here ?
c) My car AC cools my car. Law of conservation of heat dictates something else got hot in more or less equal amounts (assuming no wastage). Where does the heat go ? OK, forget the AC ... whenever I drive, the car engine gets hot. Where does the heat go ?
d) Everytime I breathe, the air I exhale is hotten than the air I inhale. Where does the heat go ?

See the point ? I contend that global warming has got to do more with energy released into atmosphere than to do with carbon emissions. Of course, since most of the above activities did happen via carbon dioxide emitted fossil fuels.

Taken in isolation, the heat goes out of each system. But taking the planet itself as a system, it appears that heat doesn't go anywhere else, except as radiation. It has to stay within the system.

Now, where is my Nobel ?

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At Friday, 19 February, 2010 at 3:21:00 PM IST, Blogger yours-intuitively said...

Law of conservation of heat (or whatever) talks about conservation in the universe, and your article assumes the heat is stuck in the earth. Greenhouse gases do exactly that, think of it like a heat-trap which resists the heat to escape into deep space. And you'll know why people are bothered about greenhouse gases.


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