Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why Man-induced Global Warming May be a Noble Exercise, but it is a Feeble Concept

The planet Earth, its moon, Mars and their atmospheres reside in outer space, also called simply space. Over time, objects in space lose heat and become colder.

The natural state of empty, interstellar space is extremely cold. The temperature scale used in space, the Kelvin scale, starts at "absolute zero", which is the temperature equivalent to minus 459.7 °F. Water freezes at a temperature of +273 degrees Kelvin (32 °F).

According to NASA, a thermometer in darkest space would only read 2.7 Kelvin (minus 457 °F). The few degrees Kelvin above absolute zero is due to constant background radiation.

The surface temperature of Earth's neighboring planet Mars varies from lows of −220 °F during the polar winters to highs of up to 70 °F in summers[22]. The wide range in temperatures is due to thin atmosphere, which cannot store much solar heat. The mean distance of Mars to the Sun is about 228,000,000 kilometers. Earth is about 1/3 closer to the Sun at 150,000,000 kilometers, while Venus is about 1/3 closer to the Sun than even the Earth at about 108,000,000 kilometers, and much hotter (over 752 °F). The Earth is not getting closer to the Sun.

If nothing else happens to the Earth, in 4-5 billion years, the Sun will enter a red giant phase. Its outer layers will expand as hydrogen in its core is consumed, its core contracts and heats up. Helium fusion will begin when the core temperature reaches about 3×108 K. While it is likely that the expansion of the outer layers of the Sun will reach Earth's current orbit, recent research suggests that mass lost from the Sun earlier in its red giant phase will cause the Earth's orbit to move further out, preventing it from being engulfed. Earth's water and most of the atmosphere will still be boiled away, however. This will not be caused by mankind.


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